Grass-fire threat worst in decade

TWO years of wet weather has led to prolific vegetation growth across NSW, with the state now facing its most significant grass-fire threat in more than a decade.

On the North Coast, although we are still in winter, the weather conditions are drying out and we are now experiencing fires spreading rapidly, catching land owners unaware.

Rural Fire Service Inspector Sandra Huer said “we are experiencing dozens of fires across the North Coast each week, with our busiest period being the weekends, our volunteers would like to spend time with their families rather than respond to fires.

“Sadly we are also seeing an increase in roadside ignitions, we would encourage people to report any suspicious behaviour to NSW Police and if they see a fire call 000.”

She said during the cooler months, if planning to burn off, it was important to check the weather for the next few days before lighting up.

“Grass fires can start easily and spread rapidly, threatening homes, and livelihoods.

“Ensure your pile burns are cleared to mineral earth around the pile, to prevent escape,” she said.

Notifying neighbours and the RFS 24 hours before lighting is a legal obligation.

“If you are planning on conducting a pile burn over the coming days, please do so responsibly and follow the safe-burning guidelines,” said Inspector Huer.

“When we experience favourable weather conditions, fire agencies will be undertaking important hazard-reduction burns around the state, including burning this week around Hernani, Bongil Bongil, and Guy Fawkes National Parks,” she said.

“We are doing everything we can to prepare and it’s important the community does the same.

“Take the time now, have a conversation and take some simple steps to prepare your family and your property ahead of the fire season,” she said.

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