FRIDAY will see an early introduction of the Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) across the north east of the state and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is urging residents to prepare for the fire season now.
The NSW RFS has commenced the danger period early across the New England Tablelands, North Coast and Mid North Coast due to continuing dry conditions, with fire permits required from 1 August in these areas.
NSW RFS Superintendent Stuart Watts 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," Supt. Watts 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 Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate.
"With spring and summer conditions becoming more conducive to the spread of fire, people need to be extremely careful when using fire."
"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."
During the Bush Fire Danger Period any person wishing to light a fire will require a permit in the following local government areas:
New England & Northern Tablelands - Armidale Dumaresq, Guyra, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Tenterfield Uralla & Walcha
North Coast - Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley & Clarence Valley.
Mid North Coast - Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca, Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Greater Taree, Gloucester and Great Lakes
On days of Total Fire Ban all Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificates are automatically revoked. To check the Fire Danger Ratings for your area visit http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or contact your local Fire Control Centre.