Riverina residents are being reminded that fire permits will be required as of Monday, October 14 as hot, dry conditions set in.
NSW Rural Fire Service Operational Officer Bradley Stewart said change in weather mean fires are more likely to start and spread quickly during the bushfire danger period, which also officially begins on Monday.
"From Monday until the end of the bushfire danger period, people wishing to light a fire in the open will require a permit, which are free and can be obtained from your local rural fire brigade or Fire Control Centre," Officer Stewart said.
"When conditions are particularly bad, such as on days of Severe, Extreme or Catastrophic Fire Danger, the NSW RFS may declare a Total Fire Ban, prohibiting the lighting of any fire in the open, even if you have a fire permit."
According to the NSW RFS, a total fire ban means the lighting of fires is prohibited. This includes cooking fires using incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, such as wood or charcoal.
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The NSW RFS also stated that gas or electric barbecues are permitted under the following conditions:
- They are on residential property within 20 metres of the house or dwelling
- They are in a picnic area and the appliance is approved by Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service or State Forest
- They are under the direct control of a responsible adult
- The ground around a barbecue is cleared for 2 metres of all material which could burn
- You have an immediate and continuous supply of water available.
"We are also urging all farmers to prepare their property with fire breaks," Officer Stewart said.
"A properly constructed and maintained fire break can help slow or even stop a fire from reaching a home or other important assets, such as crops and sheds that house expensive equipment.
"The most obvious fire protection measure is to plough a wide fire break around your assets and keep it clear of long grass and low tree branches."
For residential areas, people are encouraged to develop a Bushfire Survival Plan so they know what to do on days of increased fire danger and can immediately put their plan into action if their home is threatened by fire.
Information about Bushfire Survival Pans is published at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Anyone needing assistance should contact their local Fire Control Centre on (02) 6971 4500.