Don't play with fire: firefighters

HIGHER temperatures, smoke-filled skies, a build up of blady grass and drying conditions point to an increased risk of bushfires in the Clarence Valley but according to Rural Fire Service district manager Stuart Watts, they are simply symptoms of spring.

Mr Watts said blady grass in open paddocks, where there was limited protection from wind, was starting to dry with the warm conditions but the forested areas were still moist.

"Forest fuels are not a great issue," he said.

"That will change as the days get warmer and there is no rain.

"But it's typical of this time of the year.

"We just ask everyone to be vigilant with fire."

He said landholders thinking about burning off needed to obtain a permit and include information about how they would contain the fire.

"There has been a fair bit of burning off but it has been restricted because of the moist conditions," he said.

The wet season, he said, had also impacted on the ability of the RFS to undertake burn-offs because there was a risk heavy trucks on containment lines could get bogged.

"It is a safety issue," he said.

"We need to be able to manoeuvre.

"At this point it is a typical season.

"It is always starting to dry at this time of the year.

"We'll soon be getting into the storm season ... dry storms create a few issues for us, but if there's rain it will increase the moisture."



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