Summer begins with grass fire threat
Published Date: 01 Dec 2022
As summer begins, New South Wales residents are being warned to prepare now, with this year’s persistent rainfall causing the most significant grass fire risk across the State in more than 10 years.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said with the arrival of summer, communities across the State need to be aware of the fire risk this season.
“Two years of wet weather has led to prolific vegetation growth across NSW, with the State now facing its most significant grass fire threat in more than a decade,” Minister Cooke said.
“It can take just a few days of hot, dry and windy conditions for grass fires to take hold, even in areas which have experienced recent heavy rains and flooding.
“It’s important that households and landholders take precautions now and have a plan in place to know exactly how to react in a fire emergency.”
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said the sustained period of wet conditions has the potential to cause complacency in the community.
“Our research has found just one in three people is concerned about the fire season this year, which is the lowest level since the devastating 2019-20 bush fires, and less than half have taken steps to prepare for fire,” Commissioner Rogers said.
“While the recent focus has been on flooding events, we can’t forget about the dangers of bush and grass fires. Grass fires can move three times faster than a bush fire. They can start easily and spread quickly - destroying homes, crops and livelihoods.
“Farmers can help protect their properties by establishing firebreaks around paddocks, homes and other valuable assets like sheds and equipment, helping to slow a fire’s spread.”
Fire and Rescue NSW Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Steer reminded residents to prepare for any summer bush fire emergency.
“The public can assist fire crews by preparing and maintaining their homes if they are in an at-risk area,” Assistant Commissioner Steer said.
“If you and your family are travelling over the Christmas period, please check the weather and fire danger ratings and make a plan to leave any location threatened by a grass or bush fire.”
To check the Fire Danger Ratings for your area, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or check the Fires Near Me NSW smartphone app.
Contact Name: State Duty Media Officer
Contact Phone: (02) 9898 1855