Bushfire season looks bad despite rain
DESPITE copping a drenching last month, Clarence residents are warned to remain on alert for another potentially dangerous bushfire season.
Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service services co-ordinator Helen Dickson said the wind had already started to dry things out.
Ms Dickson said the forecast of above-average temperatures and average rainfall through into summer was likely to bring in another typical bushfire season.
"We have quite a lot of incidents in the Clarence Valley due to the types of vegetation here," Ms Dickson said.
"We have been working strongly on village protection strategies for Woombah, Brooms Head, Wooloweyah, Sandon and Iluka.
"But local owners need to do a lot of work around their homes... don't leave it to the last moment."
She said landowners could apply for a hazard reduction certificate for their property.
If requested the RFS can assist in carrying out work.
Ms Dickson said there were around 60 permits "on the books" within the Clarence district, which was up on previous years.
"I think private landowners are becoming more aware of the penalties if a fire escapes their property," she said.
On August 1, new penalties were introduced and existing penalties increased for a range of offences, to help protect people and properties this bush fire season.
These cover a range of offences including throwing a lit cigarette from a car, which rises to $660.
During a Total Fire Ban, the fine for throwing a lit cigarette rises to more than $1300.
While failing to notify fire fighting authorities of a fire on your property increases from $220 to $440.
If a landowner is found to have contravened any condition of a fire permit the fine has increased from $550 to $1100.