The Rural Fire Service's focus is now on getting the Riverina's private properties to improve their protection as the summer months approach.
Riverina Zone operational officer Bradley Stewart told The Daily Advertiser thattheRFS's priority was to make sure that private owners, who controlled the vast majority of land in the Riverina, were reducing their fire risks.
"Each and every property owner across the Riverina needs to take responsibility for their own properties, making sure they adequately maintained asset protection zones around their own home, that their gutters are cleaned out, and that they have a bushfire plan in place," Mr Stewart said.
"It's not just the responsibility of the RFS to manage risk, it is the community's responsibility as well, and that includes those living in urban areas."
The Riverina has already seen hazard reduction on public lands.
Mr Stewart saidthe region was "well on target" for hazard reduction carried out by the RFS.
"Most of (the RFS) work is completed prior to the bushfire danger period," he said.
"We undertake small amounts of slashing and spraying should we get rain events coming through that promotes new growth."
Mr Stewart said members of the public "didn't necessarily see" a lot of work that has gone into hazard reduction, of which planned burns were a small part.
"On average each we hazard reduce some 1500 hectares of land across the four local government areas that make up the Riverina Zone: Lockhart, Junee, Wagga and Coolamon," he said.
Mr Stewart said the hazard reduction was achieved through "more than 133 individual hazard reduction programs, most of which is roadside spraying and slashing, which is done in consultation with councils and Roads and Maritime Services".
"In the past two years we have executed approximately six hazard reduction burns," he said.
The burns included a section of Willans Hill in April to protect homes and telecommunications infrastructure, burns at Kapooka army base and at Riedell Street in East Wagga, Coolamon, Silvalite Reserve and Yindyamarra Reserve near Charles Sturt University.
The RFS is also seeking funding for 45 kilometres of fire breaks along railway lines south of Wagga.
Grazing during livestock movements has also helped control fuel loads along major roads.
The appropriate level for planned burns has been debated among state and federal politicians this month as bushfires claimed multiple lives and homes in north west NSW.
Semi-retired Wagga salesman John Wilson said it appeared there were less planned burns and ploughed fire breaks taking place on farmland, beside roads and rail lines, and public land.
"Originally when we came to Wagga we we lived in Kooringal at Rocky Hill and every year they used to burn the hill off," he said.
"Several years ago they stopped for a while and said due to the smoke problem they couldn't burn off and it hasn't been touched for five or ten years that I know of."
Mr Wilson said there was not as many fire breaks south along the Hume Highway "as in the old days".
Mr Stewart said the RFS' approach to hazard reduction burns was to keep them "small, targeted and well planned" and that burning some areas could be counterproductive due to encouraging the growth of weeds.
"Fire is not the only tool is available to us to achieve hazard reduction and if we use fire too frequently in bush areas, we can actually do more harm than good," he said.
"Fundamentally, any burns that we do in any urban areas, we have to work out how the smoke is going to behave so that we don't interfere with the public going about their lives and there are people in the community who are very susceptible to smoke in schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
"There is a huge amount of background and planning work that goes into a hazard reduction burns."