New South Wales Rural Fire Service have declared that most residents across New England North West require a permit to burn-off this September. This is a result of the Bushfire Danger Period, which usually applies from October to March each year, coming into effect a month early for Tamworth, Gunnedah and the Liverpool Plains, including the communities of Quirindi, Werris Creek, Willow Tree and Wallabadah.
The Bushfire Danger Period was started even earlier in some parts of New South Wales, on 1st August, in response to long term dry conditions (despite some good recent rain) with the prospect of a long hot summer season ahead in 2014-15. To ensure that farmers and property owners respect the risk indicated by these measures, the state government has increased fines for breaking the rules – any fire lit in the open without a permit will incur a $2,200 on-the-spot fine.
The Bushfire Danger Period requiring fire permits doesn’t mean that bushfires are imminent. Instead, it was brought in so emergency services know where all burn-offs and other open fires are at any given time when the risk of fire is present. It helps the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) monitor the weather, place conditions on where and when deliberate burn-offs occur so they don’t get away, and make sure that people lighting fires are educated to do so in a safe and controlled way with supervision from professional firefighters if necessary. It’s all about keeping people safe through bushfire prevention, and helping the RFS do their job in the best possible way for the community.
The key to keeping safe during bushfire season is preparation and knowledge. We’ve collected a few important pointers below, but be sure to visit the RFS and Fire & Rescue NSW for some really interesting reads and good, practical tips, as well as downloadable fact sheets and toolkits to keep your family safe.
Make a Bushfire Survival Plan and commit to following your plan.
Don’t ‘wait and see’ – act decisively.
Regularly check your area’s Fire Danger Rating.
Seek out information, don’t assume you will receive a warning.
Know where to find your nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place.
Practice and review any plans you put in place – it’s so much better to be prepared for a bushfire that will never happen than to panic if it does.
Ray White Rural Quirindi will be keeping you up to date with more news, helpful tips and community events throughout the year. If you’re interested in buying, renting or selling property in the Quirindi region, drop by anytime to speak to our friendly team or give us a call on (02) 6746 1270.