THE NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is urging Shoalhaven residents to take extreme care with any burning activity as unseasonable conditions lead to an unusually large number of fires.
Local crews have attended blazes in Nowra, Bomaderry, Berry, Bawley Point and Milton recently.
A number of Rural Fire Service units were called to a suspicious grass fire at the back of Stockland in Nowra on Sunday that burnt out two hectares of grassland.
Superintendent Mark Williams warned residents about burning off in windy conditions.
“These current windy conditions mean landowners need to be very careful when attempting any burning,” Superintendent Williams said.
“In recent days the Shoalhaven has experienced a number of fire related incidents, including areas such as Back Forest in the north and Bawley Point in the south.
“Residents and landowners need to take care when using fire; it is their responsibility to control the fire so it doesn’t escape and cause damage.
“When undertaking burning activities, landholders should notify neighbours and their local fire authority 24 hours before lighting any fire.
“Landowners should also check weather conditions before starting the burn.”
Supt Williams said all residents should know the penalties involved if a fire should escape their property.
These penalties may include fines as well as imprisonment.
“If you have not already prepared for the bushfire season, then you must act now,” he said.
“Everyone should be using this time to prepare their properties, by clearing their gutters and removing fuel from around their homes.
“All households should have a well-practised Bush Fire Survival Plan, so residents know what to do, particularly on days of increased fire danger.
“There is no room for complacency when it comes to bushfire safety.”
The bushfire danger period in the Shoalhaven starts on September 1 and continues until March 31.
To undertake any burn-offs during that period residents require a permit from the RFS or Fire and Rescue NSW.
For more information contact the Shoalhaven Fire Control Centre on 4424 4424 or visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au