RFS declares start of Southern Tablelands bushfire danger period

A fire on the Hume Highway at Bowning burns two hectares of land in February. Photo: Bowning Rural Fire Brigade
A fire on the Hume Highway at Bowning burns two hectares of land in February. Photo: Bowning Rural Fire Brigade

Residents are being urged to be on higher alert with the start of the bush fire danger period for the Southern Tablelands next Tuesday, October 1.

The declaration relates to Yass Valley, Goulburn Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Shire council areas.

Residents will need to apply for a permit from their local fire control centre, 24 hours ahead of lighting a pile burn during the danger period, which runs until March 31.

NSW RFS Superintendent Peter Alley is encouraging all residents to complete a bush fire survival plan and ensure all members of the household know what to do on days of increased danger or if their home is threatened by fire.

"Residents should prepare their property by removing flammable materials from around their home and assets, keeping lawns mown, clearing gutters of leaves and checking hoses and pumps are operable," Superintendent Alley said.

"With much of NSW in drought and a forecast of ongoing warm and dry conditions, there is the potential for a long and protracted bush fire season.

"That is why it is so important residents are prepared. During the bush fire danger period, fire permits are required for burning activities.

"Permits are free and easily obtained by contacting (02) 6226 3100 during business hours. Residents should request a fire permit at least three days in advance.

"Fire permits help ensure fire is used safely and minimise the danger to residents, their properties and the community.

"People need to be extremely careful if they intend to use fire given the recent and forecast conditions."

Never leave a fire unattended and if it does escape it is essential to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

On days where the fire danger rating is very high or above, fire permits will be suspended for 24 hours and permit holders will be advised accordingly.

On days of total fire ban, no fires are to be lit in the open.

For further information, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call 6226 3100.