THE Shoalhaven Rural Fire Service has completed a large number of hazard reduction burns in readiness for a potentially bad fire season.
Despite a successful 1000ha burn in the Deans Gap area and hundreds of smaller hazard reduction burns of between five and 100ha, the RFS still has more than 100 burns planned.
The El Nino conditions predicted for next year are a concern for the RFS as the past few years have resulted in good growth in the bush around Shoalhaven.
Shoalhaven RFS spokesman James Morris said the challenge with hazard reduction burns now was in the timing.
“Due to recent rain and coming into the cooler season the fuel load won’t dry out as quickly,” he said.
“So until we get warmer days we will be waiting for suitable conditions,” he said.
“We still have a lot of hazard reduction to do, but HR doesn’t just mean burning. It also includes mechanical clearing.
“We are preparing asset protection zones around properties and that is done mechanically.
“Hopefully in the next couple of months we will see the bush dry out a bit, the winds will help with that,” he said.
Mr Morris reminded Shoalhaven residents to continue with their own preparations for the fire season.
“Anyone burning off should remain with their fire, don’t leave it unattended.
“I would also remind people that now is the perfect time to download your bushfire survival plan,” Mr Morris said.