Port Stephens residents are being urged to take extreme caution when conducting any sort of burning activity at this time of the year.
The warning comes from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) following an unusually high number of fires in the Port and surrounding areas due to unseasonable conditions, plus the very high fire danger potential forecast for the weekend.
RFS operational officer Guy Baddock said that local brigades had been called to a number of fires in Port Stephens in recent weeks due to the warm, dry conditions.
“Residents and landowners need to take care when using fire and to remember it is their responsibility to control the fire so that it doesn’t escape and cause damage,” Baddock said.
“When undertaking burning activities, landholders need to notify their neighbours and local fire authority 24-hours before lighting a fire.”
He said that Port residents planning to conduct hazard reduction burning should first contact their local Fire Control Centre and check if a fire permit is required.
Information is posted daily at rfs.nsw.gov.au.
The RFS said that the current conditions were a timely reminder for residents to check that they have a completed and practiced Bush Fire Survival Plan, in order to protect their family and property should they be threatened by fire.
“If you are not prepared for the bush fire season then you must act now,” Baddock said.
“Everyone should be using this time to prepare their property, which includes clearing gutters and removing fuel from around homes.
“All households should have a well-practiced Bush Fire Survival Plan so residents know what to do, particularly on days of increased fire danger, because there is no room for complacency when it comes to bush fire safety.”
Related reading: Rural Fire Service prepares for early danger season