Today sees the commencement of the Bush Fire Danger Period for Coastal NSW, including 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs). This brings the total number of LGAs currently experiencing heightened bush fire risk to 27 across NSW.
Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires are included in the LGAs listed today.
Given the number of grass fires being reported on Fires Near You NSW Rural Fire Service notification app in the Singleton district in the last month is it important that people are aware of the dangers of bushfires.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said it is important that communities in these coastal areas are aware of their bush fire risk.
"We've had a wetter-than-average winter, resulting in significant grass growth across the state, including these Local Government Areas," Mr Elliott said.
"Grass fires can be especially volatile, and it is important landowners take safe and practical steps to mitigate their risk.
"We remind the communities entering their Bush Fire Danger Period that they now have additional responsibilities, and must obtain the required approvals before lighting any fires and ensure they have adequate firefighting resources on hand."
"Those who fail to notify firefighters and neighbours face fines of up to $5500 and/or 12 months' jail while escaped burns attract penalties of up to $110,000 and/or five years' prison," Mr Elliott said.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said it is incredibly concerning that since 1 July, the RFS has responded to more than 130 incidents of escaped private pile and hazard reduction burns.
"Landholders and firefighters have reported increased grass and crop growth from recent rain, particularly west of the ranges. The threat of grass fires will increase as this dries out," Commissioner Rogers said.
LGAs entering their Bush Fire Danger Period today are: Muswellbrook, Singleton, Mid-Coast, Port Macqurie-Hastings, Clarence Valley, Ballina, Byron, Tweed, Nambucca, Kempsey, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven.
They join the LGAs who commenced their Bush Fire Danger Period on 1 August: Armidale, Walcha, Uralla, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell and Tenterfield.
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