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The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has declared that a further 53 areas commenced the Bush Fire Danger Period from Sunday 1 September 2019 – bringing the number of local government areas to 74.

“Over the past two months, we’ve seen more than 2700 bush and grass fires which have unfortunately destroyed homes, impacted property and closed roads,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“Due to the forecast of ongoing warm and dry conditions and in consultation with local volunteers, land managers and fire agencies, we’ve brought forward the start of the season in a number of areas.”

The normal Bush Fire Danger Period in NSW commences on 1 October each year, but is adjusted based on local conditions.

Anyone wishing to light a fire during the Bush Fire Danger Period must obtain a permit from their local Fire Control Centre.

“Permits ensure that fire is used safely and to minimise the danger to landholders, their property and the community,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“While hazard reductions are an important part of preparations, landholders need to be extremely careful as warmer and dry conditions mean fire can spread quickly and suddenly.

“Never leave a fire unattended and, if a fire does escape, make sure you call Triple Zero (000) immediately so that emergency services can respond and minimise the damage.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons urged homeowners to prepare for the upcoming fire season, noting warmer than average temperatures and below average rainfall are forecast for the coming months.

“Recent research has indicated that 67 per cent of people had some sort of plan of what to do in the event a fire threatens.

“While it is encouraging that two thirds of people have discussed what they’ll do, our research also shows that many people’s plans are simple, and often not well thought through.

“We want people to ask themselves how fireproof is your plan? Have the conversation with your family about what you will do during a fire – including where you’ll go, what you’ll take and what you’ll do with animals.”

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