Fire agencies, land managers and private landholders are taking advantage of some of the best weather conditions since last spring to conduct vital hazard reduction burns across the state this week.
These controlled burns will help reduce fuel loads and provide thousands of homes with added protection from bushfire.
Locally, the National Parks and Wildlife Service is overseeing a hazard reduction burn at Binaburra, west of Longreach.
The reduction burn which started to the west of Nowra on April 16 will continue until Friday, April 23 and will burn out 6.72 hectares.
The NPWS is also conducting a hazard reduction burn at Barrengarry Mountain, North Mcphails.
The hazard reduction which is scheduled to burn 116.1 hectares, will start on Thursday, April 22 and continue through until next Thursday, April 29.
Up in the Wingecarribee and the NPWS has also conducted hazard reduction burns in the Fitzroy Falls/Hills Flat area.
The burn which started on April 12 was to be concluded today, Tuesday, April 20 and covered 23.69 hectares.
NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Rob Rogers said prescribed burns in other areas including the Blue Mountains, Sutherland, Snowy Valley and the Illawarra, are also scheduled to start from tomorrow and continue across the weekend.
"Above average rainfall for nine out of the past 12 months has made it difficult for agencies to conduct hazard reduction works," Commissioner Rogers said.
"With a return of favourable weather, fire agencies and land managers will need to take advantage of the conditions to complete this important work ahead of next fire season.
"These burns are planned well in advance and a number of factors, including current and forecast weather, are monitored right up to the moment burns are lit and if the conditions are not right, the activity may be amended or postponed."
Smoke from these burns is expected to drift across the Shoalhaven areas and may result in reduced air quality.
"In order to minimise the impact of smoke on the community, firefighters will alter the timings and lighting strategies for these burns," Commissioner Rogers said.
Members of the public are reminded that they should only call Triple Zero (000) if they see a fire without a fire truck in attendance.
People in smoke affected areas should avoid outdoor activity, close doors and windows, keep pets in a protected area, remove washing from clotheslines and, if driving, slow down and turn on headlights.
Asthmatics and people with respiratory or heart conditions should take appropriate precautions, follow treatment and management plans and keep their medication on hand.
For further information, go to www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/bushfire-smoke.aspx
A full list and map of scheduled hazard reduction burns for the coming week is available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/hr
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