Fire season kicks off across 27 NSW government areas

Gosper Mountain fire impacting at Bilpin in December 2019. Photo: Kim Chappell
Gosper Mountain fire impacting at Bilpin in December 2019. Photo: Kim Chappell

Twenty seven local government areas across NSW have already commenced the start of the official bush fire season due to dry local conditions.

Muswellbrook, Singleton, Mid-Coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Clarence Valley, Ballina, Byron, Tweed, Nambucca, Kempsey, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Shoalhaven have joined six Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the New England and Northern Tablelands which were already in the official bush fire season.

NSW Commissioner Rob Rogers said these LGAs commenced the Bush Fire Danger Period on September 1, 2021, bringing the number of LGAs in bush fire season to 27.

Armidale Regional, Walcha, Uralla, Glen Innes Severn, lnverell and Tenterfield were already under the danger period as of August 1.

"Over coming weeks and months, grass fires will be of particular concern, especially in these areas that have entered the bush fire danger period," Commissioner Rogers said.

"Land holders and firefighters have reported increased grass growth from recent rain, particularly west of the ranges. The threat of grass fires will increase as this dries out."

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Remaining areas of NSW are expected to commence their Bush Fire Danger Period on October 1.

"Anyone wishing to light a fire during the Bush Fire Danger Period must obtain a free permit in addition to notifying their local fire authority and neighbours 24 hours before lighting up," Commissioner Rogers said.

"While hazard reductions are an important part of preparations, landholders need to be extremely careful, as escaped burns can lead to heavy penalties.

"If a fire does escape, make sure you call Triple Zero (000) immediately so that emergency services can respond and minimise the damage."

Commissioner Rogers said while firefighters were busy preparing, residents should do the same.

"Now is the time to update and discuss your bush fire survival plan. Have the conversation with your family about what you will do during a fire - talk about when you'll leave, where you'll go, what you'll take and what you'll do with animals."