Contributed, Boyd Townsend.

Bushfires are contained... for now

FIRE crews have made a significant dent in the number of blazes burning in the Clarence Valley, as investigations into their cause continue.

With the number of fires reduced to 14, volunteers have been able to focus on ensuring that fires remain contained and behind identified containment lines.

A week ago the fire service was faced with 30 individual outbreaks, which burnt close to 10,000 hectares of bushland.

NSW RFS Clarence Valley district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said a number of out-of-area crews had arrived in the past few days to allow local volunteers a reprieve from the task.

"As it winds down local resources will be put back on, but they have jobs to attend and families to go to," he said.

"In the field we still have over 150 volunteer firefighters, with support from National Parks and State Forests."

Investigations to determine the origin and cause of the fires are also ongoing at major sites.

"My concern is that we shouldn't be having this much fire activity so early," Supt Watts said.

"It clearly demonstrates we're in a very dry period at the moment and there's still an abundance of fuel in a very dry state.

"It doesn't take much fire weather for these materials to burn at an erratic pace so we remind people that permits are still suspended."

Moving forward, Supt Watts said last week's fire activity highlighted the need for families to re-assess their own bush fire survival plans and hazard reduction strategies to make communities, properties and families safer.

"Preparation must go on 24 hours, 365 days a week," he said.

"It all starts with communication."



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