Residents urged to plan ahead

Published: 5th August 2011

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) are advising landholders and managers to ensure they are adequately prepared, and have the appropriate permits in place before conducting burn-offs on their property.

NSW RFS Inspector Ivan Perkins said that safety must remain a priority.

"While we encourage people to be proactive about reducing fuel loads on their properties, we need to ensure that people conduct these hazard reduction burns safely and legally.

"The NSW RFS can provide advice on fire permits, hazard reduction certificates, environmental approvals, weather forecasts and how best to prepare and conduct a burn, he said.

While some areas no longer required permits to burn, people should clarify whether they are exempt.

FRNSW Inspector Tony Lenthall said that regardless of the time of year, residents within town boundaries should contact their local fire station to discuss the criteria and requirements.

"Anyone undertaking backyard burning must obtain a permit from their local fire station," Inspector Lenthall said.

"Specifically, people in Kempsey, Fredrickton and South West Rocks are being reminded to check with us before burning off."

Residents are also reminded that lighting a fire without the necessary approvals is an offence which carries penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

For more information on hazard reduction burns contact the NSW RFS Lower North Coast Zone Office on 6568 2536, or speak to your local fire station.