Early end to bushfire danger period in Coffs Harbour, Bellingen LGAs

DUE to easing conditions and recent rainfall, the Rural Fire Service (RFS) has declared an early end to the bushfire danger period in a number of northern NSW local government areas, including Coffs Harbour and Bellingen.

North East Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Michael Brett said the statutory danger period ends on 31 March 2024, but a decision had been made, in consultation with local authorities and stakeholders, to end the season one month early in some LGAs due to favourable conditions.

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He said fire agencies and land managers would now turn their attention towards conducting hazard reduction works, including planned burning.

Chief Superintendent Brett said landholders must still meet a number of requirements before conducting burns on private property.

“From 1 March 2024, fire permits will no longer be required for the City of Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Clarence Valley, Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Kyogle, Lismore and Richmond Valley LGAs,” Chief Superintendent Brett said.

“Even though a fire permit is no longer required, residents must still notify their neighbours and the local fire authority 24 hours before burning.”

He said the local community should not become complacent to the danger of bush and grass fires, even with mild local conditions.

“Whilst the bush fire season has ended, this doesn’t mean the risk of fire has, with high fuel loads still present across the State,” Chief Superintendent Brett said.

“Despite these milder conditions, there is always the potential for fires to threaten life, property and the environment, if they are not managed correctly.

“Before lighting up, people should check whether they need a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate and have sufficient equipment on hand to control and contain the fire to their property.

“Your local Fire Control Centre or fire station can provide advice on how to safely undertake hazard reduction work and how to best prepare yourself, your property and your family for the next bush fire season.

“The first thing you should do though is review your bush fire survival plan and discuss it with your household.”

To arrange a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate or a free environmental assessment, contact your local Fire Control Centre.

More information is also available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/BFDP

By Mike HELY

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