The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has suspended fire permits from midnight 11th December 2017 until further notice in the Muswellbrook and Singleton Local Government Areas because of local climatic conditions.
NSW RFS Operational Officer Leanne Bell said the decision to suspend fire permits has been made in order to help keep the local community safe from bush and grass fires.
“In dry and windy conditions fires can start quickly and spread rapidly. With the predicted hot weather forecasted for this week, combined with the lack of decent rainfall in the area has led to an increased risk of bush and grass fires in the Hunter Valley district area,” Operational Officer Bell said.
“Just one spark from a planned hazard reduction or a pile burn can cause a fire to spread and threaten life and property.”
“While fire permits have been suspended, we encourage residents to play their part by preparing their property for fire which includes removing flammable materials from around their yards, clearing leaves from gutters and checking hose lengths.”
“It is also important to make or update your Bush Fire Survival Plan and have a conversation with your family to ensure that everyone knows what to do and where they will go in the event that they are threatened by a bush or grass fire.”
Anyone wishing to light a fire during the Bush Fire Danger Period must obtain a permit from their local Fire Control Centre. Serious penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment, apply for starting a fire without a permit during the Bush Fire Danger Period.
“Permits ensure that fire is used safely and to minimise the danger to landholders, their property and the community,” Operational Officer Bell said.
Permits may be authorised in exceptional circumstances, such as public safety or essential business works. To request an exemption, contact the Hunter Valley Fire Control Centre.
For further information on how you can protect your property, or to get the guide to making your Bush Fire Survival Plan, visit the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call the Hunter Valley Fire Control Centre on 6575 1200.