The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has today declared the start of the statutory Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) for areas across the Far South Coast.
From 1 September any person wishing to light a fire in the Bega Valley Shire will require a permit.
“Whilst recent rainfalls have provided some relief from what has been a very dry winter, spring on the Far South Coast is traditionally our windy season. As we witnessed last year, these windy conditions are when we tend to see fires escape and become difficult to control,"said RFS Superintendent John Cullen
“Anybody wishing to light a fire on their property during the Bush Fire Danger Period will require a permit from their local fire station or Fire Control Centre. Permit holders are obliged to read and understand the conditions on the permit which include notifying neighbours and the Fire Control Centre at least 24 hours prior to lighting any fire. However, even with a permit you need to check whether a Total Fire Ban is in force before lighting any fires.”
Superintendent Cullen encourages all residents to have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, so all members of their household know what to do on days of increased fire danger, and if their home is threatened by fire.
"Remember that planning to make a plan is not the same as having a plan,"Superintendent Cullen said.
Residents should continue with other methods of hazard reduction such as slashing, mowing and brushcutting. The most important areas are those closest to assets such as houses and other buildings.
“We have all seen the devastation that bush fires can bring to a community, so I strongly advise residents to contact their local brigades and use their advice and expertise to assist in carrying out safe hazard reductions,” said Superintendent John Cullen.
“Residents also need to check to see if they require any environmental approvals.
“Never leave a fire unattended and if a fire does escape, it is essential to call Triple Zero (000) immediately so that emergency services can respond accordingly and minimise the damage.”
For more information contact Bega Fire Control Centre on 6494 7400 or visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au