Fire season now officially over for Port Stephens

BUSHFIRE: A bushfire in December burnt out a large section of Mambo Wetlands in Salamander Bay.
BUSHFIRE: A bushfire in December burnt out a large section of Mambo Wetlands in Salamander Bay.

While the official fire season and fire danger period has ended, the rules for backyard burns in Port Stephens do not change, except that a fire permit is not required.

Medowie Rural Fire Brigade deputy group captain Lou Cassar said it had been a busy fire season in the Port, starting with the Campvale and Salt Ash fires last November.

These fires were followed in December by a suspicious fire which burnt out more than 82 hectares of the Mambo wetlands bushland in Salamander Bay.

"On behalf of the fire brigade, I would like to thank the volunteers and families for their time and efforts, as well as the community for supporting local volunteers during a rather difficult summer," Mr Cassar said.

During the cooler months Port Stephens Council's open burning policy requires that residents living in rural areas must notify neighbours and fire control at least 24 hours prior to lighting a fire.

Burning general waste is prohibited under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010.

Property owners can burn tree branches and vegetative material on their premises if their allotment is greater than 4000 square metres in area and zoned Rural RU1, RU2, RU3, RU5 and Large Lot Residential R5 under Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013.

All these requirements and more are available on the council's open burning policy, and fines apply for breaches of the rules.

For further information go to http://www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/live/community/public-health-and-safety/backyard-burning2

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