Wagga and surrounding areas may get through the bushfire danger period relatively unscathed, according to NSW RFS officers.
The forecast comes despite a number of bushfires having ripped through neighbouring regions in recent weeks.
NSW Rural Fire Service operational officer Jonty Bruce said at this stage, there was not a lot of fuel – items that could burn – across the region. He said that could all change, depending on spring rainfall.
But even though the bush fire danger period is unlikely to come into effect until November, Mr Bruce said property owners in the Riverina Zone were still required to notify the fire district and their neighbours if they planned to burn off.
“You may not need a permit until the bush fire danger period,” Mr Bruce said. “But you still can’t just go out and burn. There are still rules and regulations to follow.”
His words follow a number of unnecessary call outs in recent weeks.
Operational officer Brad Stewart said the owners of adjoining properties weren’t being told about an intent to ignite and the resulting calls to triple zero were wasting volunteer’s time.
“Fire brigades having to attend unnecessarily to ensure the fire is safe,” Mr Stewart said. “One of the means of addressing [the inherent dangers of fire] is the observance of the regulations.”
Mr Stewart said those rules were there to keep everyone safe.
“Even if you have been using fire on your property for years, safe burning is your responsibility,” he said. “It’s pretty straightforward.”
Sharing a brief checklist, he said residents intending to burn off should make sure they were legally could; let people know; mind and monitor the conditions; keep an eye on the burn; and call emergency services if it escaped.
The warning comes ahead of this year’s Get Ready Weekend, with fun family activities and displays coinciding with information and advice on preparing for the bushfire season.
“It has already been a busy start to the fire season with more than 2000 bush and grass fires across NSW during August,” Mr Stewart said. “With all of NSW in drought and a forecast of ongoing warm and dry conditions, there is the potential for a long fire season.”
Residents are invited to the Riverina Fire Control Centre Open Day on Saturday, September 22 from 10am to 2pm.
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