RFS declares start of Clarence Valley bushfire danger period
THE NSW Rural Fire Service has announced the bushfire danger period for the Clarence Valley will start from midnight Tuesday next week.
RFS Clarence Valley District Superintendent Stuart Watts said historically September 1 marked the start of the bushfire danger period, one month earlier than the statewide statutory period.
Mr Watts said after the devastating conditions and bushfires that swept through the Clarence Valley last year, things were looking positive this time around.
"Last year and the year before conditions were dry and fires were starting to escape people's control which forced our hand to declare an additional bushfire danger period during August," he said.
"This year however it's been a lot quieter and there's been nowhere near as much fire activity.
"Last year all our planning was done on the run but this year we have been able to take a measured approach and we've been hitting our targets in hazard reduction."
Supt Watts said from July 1 to October 1 last year Clarence Valley RFS crews received calls to 298 grass and bushfires. This year since July 1 there has only been 39 calls.
"Last year our hazard reduction plans were obliterated by the early fire season but this year we've had a window of opportunity open and we're going pretty hard," he said.
From Tuesday, September 1, residents in the Clarence Valley local government area intending to light a fire on the ground in the open will require a fire permit from an authorised officer.
All fire permit holders will be responsible for notifying adjoining neighbours and the fire control officer in the area at least 24 hours prior to burning.
The bushfire danger period will run until March 31 next year.
"It's all about fire safety approval. After the bushfire season we had last year, it's everybody's responsibility to do the right thing," Supt Watts said.
For more details visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call 6644 5127.