Fire permits could be suspended
THE Rural Fire Service is considering suspending all fire permits in the Clarence Valley after a busy start to the bushfire danger period.
Clarence Valley RFS district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said the past two weeks have been busy for fire crews as they responded to a number of blazes caused by lightning strikes from storms setting fire to dry forest fuel as well as landholders burning off without a permit.
"We're considering suspending issuing fire permits, but that would unfortunately mean it would penalise the good people trying to do the right thing," he said.
"It's a step we're considering very carefully before we go down that track.
"We need community members on our side by not lighting a fire if they don't need it, and if they do making sure they have written permission first."
The Bureau of Meteorology has recently released their outlook for the summer months, and Northern NSW is expected to face some tough bushfire conditions.
The outlook predicts from December to January the Clarence Valley has a greater than 80% chance of exceeding both the median maximum and median minimum temperature, and a less than 30% chance of going above the median rainfall of the three month period.
Supt Watts said the dry and hot forecast will push the risk of bushfires even higher.
"It is dry, and there's no rain on the horizon, no rain on the radar just yet, just more more hot and dry weather which will keep our brigade on our toes," he said.
"It's not quite summer yet, but as we move into the hottest part of the year we will beging to feel the effects of drought and lack of rain conditions, where forest fuels dry out which can cause fires to move quite quickly.
"The outlook will be problematic for the RFS, Forestry Corporation firefighters and Fire and Rescue NSW, which is why it's rather important that the community is very fire wise and they can help us combat fire by possibly keeping us alert to any fires that are no attended or out of control."
Supt Watts said for more information visit their website and download the smartphone app to check on the status of fires burning in the Clarence Valley, and if it would pose any potential threat and what action should be taken if it does.