The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) this week declared the start of the statutory Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) for areas across the South West Slopes zone.
From October 1 any person wishing to light a fire will require a permit in the following local government areas:
* Cootamundra Local Government Area
* Harden Local Government Area
* Young Local Government Area
* Boorowa Local Government Area
Zone Manager Andrew Dillon has urged all residents in the South West Slopes zone to be vigilant and extremely careful with fire during the bush fire danger period.
“Anybody wishing to light a fire on their property during the Bush Fire Danger Period will require a permit from their local Rural Fire Brigade or Fire Control Centre.”
“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,” Mr Dillon said
During a Total Fire Ban the lighting of fires is banned, including cooking fires, using incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, such as wood or charcoal.
Mr Dillon is also encouraging residents to have a bush fire survival plan, so all members of the household know what to do on days of increased fire danger, and if their home is threatened by fire.
For more information contact The South West Slopes Zone RFS on 6386 3170 or visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
Most of NSW is classed as having above normal fire potential for the 2013-2014 Bush Fire Danger Period, according to the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (Bushfire CRC).
The Bushfire CRC predicts that NSW will experience above average fire conditions this season, with the exception of the north coast and far west of NSW.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the Bushfire CRC’s predictions were a timely reminder of the risks of bush and grass fires and the importance of early preparation.
“Our warmest winter on record, coupled with dry conditions, has helped fuel more than 1180 fires in NSW over the last month.
“This increased fire activity has brought forward the start of the official Bush Fire Danger Period for many areas of the state, including Tamworth, Taree, Upper Hunter and Shoalhaven.
“Crews from the NSW RFS are working with partard reductions each week.
“Local RFS Brigades are also working with communities to raise their fire awareness and knowledge before the fire season.
“Regardless of where you live in NSW, even a “normal” Australian bush fire season is dangerous,” the commissioner said
He has asked everyone to take the time to prepare a plan and put it into action.
My top three tips are:
1. Clear your gutters;
2. Maintain your gardens - cutting back shrubs and overhanging trees and moving garden
mulch from the house; and
3. Have a hose that reaches right around your home.
Our 70,000 members stand ready to fight any fires that hit NSW in the coming months, but we cannot do our job without the support of the public.
“Time invested now could help save your family, pets and home this summer,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.