SATURDAY marks the official start of the state-wide statutory Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is urging Lower Hunter residents to prepare for the fire season now.
While 1 October is the official commencement of the 2016 bush fire season, some areas have already commenced their danger period due to continuing dry conditions.
Medowie Rural Fire Brigade Captain Andrew Collins advised News Of The Area that the 2016 statutory Fire Danger Period commences on 1 October. Residents should take the opportunity to prepare for the bush fire season.
You can visit the RFS website http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/ for information on how to prepare.
Captain Collins also advised Port Stephens residents that from 1 October any person wishing to light a fire will require a permit.
NSW RFS Superintendent Jayson McKellar is urging residents to complete a Bush Fire Survival Plan and ensure all members of the household know what to do on days of increased fire danger and if their home is threatened by fire.
Residents should prepare their property by removing flammable materials from their yards, clearing gutters of leaves, checking hoses and, where appropriate, conducting hazard reduction activities.
“While it is important to continue hazard reduction we have all seen the devastation that bush fires can bring to a community, so I strongly urge people to exercise caution when carrying out these activities,” Superintendent McKellar said.
“Residents can ask their local Fire Control Centre for assistance in carrying out safe hazard reductions and for advice about whether they need a Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate.”
“With summer conditions becoming more conducive to the spread of fire, people need to be extremely careful when using fire,” he said.
“Never leave a fire unattended and if a fire does escape, it is essential to call Triple Zero (000) immediately so that emergency services can respond accordingly and minimise the damage,” Superintendent McKellar said.
During the Bushfire Danger Period any person wishing to light a fire will require a permit in all areas of Port Stephens.
On days of Total Fire Ban all Fire Safety Permits and Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificates are automatically suspended.
To check the Fire Danger Ratings for your area visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or contact your local Fire Control Centre.
By Rachael VAUGHAN