Time to clean up your prop­er­ties

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Ivy Wise

CAM­PASPE Shire’s fire dan­ger pe­riod is ex­pected to take ef­fect by mid-Novem­ber.

Which means now is the time for land­hold­ers to start clean­ing up, ac­cord­ing to CFA Cam­paspe Shire dis­trict 20 op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer John Cut­ting.

‘‘Land own­ers need to clean up around their prop­erty and peo­ple need to start clean­ing up around their houses, such as gut­ters and out­build­ings,’’ he said.

With our sea­son pre­dicted to be high risk and above nor­mal bush­fire po­ten­tial, Mr Cut­ting said prepa­ra­tion was key as a warm and rea­son­ably dry win­ter had pro­duced a large fuel load across the re­gion.

‘‘For us, we’re track­ing not much dif­fer­ent to pre­vi­ous years but with the deficit of rain, fuel loads are dry­ing out quickly,’’ Mr Cut­ting said.

‘‘Once crop­ping starts, head­ers and ma­chines have the po­ten­tial to spark fires.’’

Mr Cut­ting said CFA crews had

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al­ready at­tended sev­eral fires caused by out-of-con­trol burn-offs.

‘‘Peo­ple need to take weather con­di­tions into ac­count,’’ he said.

Only burn-offs in ar­eas larger than 2ha are per­mit­ted.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant peo­ple phone the burn-off no­ti­fi­ca­tion line (1800 668 511) to en­sure fire ser­vices are aware of their planned burn . . . and that they have suf­fi­cient wa­ter on hand,’’ Mr Cut­ting said.

Free green waste will be ac­cepted at Cam­paspe Shire’s trans­fer sta­tions from Novem­ber 4-19.

Lim­its will ap­ply to one cu­bic me­tre (stan­dard trailer load).

Over the bor­der, Moama is look­ing at an av­er­age bush­fire sea­son.

How­ever, NSW RFS mid-Mur­ray zone In­spec­tor Doug Adam­son said an av­er­age sea­son could still be dan­ger­ous.

‘‘Brief­ings we have re­ceived from the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy have taken a bet each way on what is ex­pected with the weather over sum­mer but we do not ex­pect too much out­side an av­er­age sea­son,’’ he said.

‘‘Fuel loads from around De­niliquin or per­haps Conargo south to Moama are about av­er­age, slightly more as you get closer to Moama.’’

The mid-Mur­ray zone’s bush­fire sea­son started on Oc­to­ber 1, with per­mits re­quired for all agri­cul­tural burns un­til the sea­son ends on March 31, 2018.

There will be a no burn pe­riod dur­ing De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

Mr Adam­son said he didn’t ex­pect this sea­son to be busier than the last.

‘‘A bit of luck with weather and the com­mu­nity do­ing the right thing will take the pres­sure off,’’ he said.

‘‘It re­ally de­pends on the weather. If we get a lot of dry light­ning storms and hot windy weather, it could be a prob­lem sea­son.’’

Mr Adam­son also warned peo­ple to be pre­pared for the bush fire sea­son, by clean­ing up around their homes and farms, and to be aware of weather con­di­tions and To­tal Fire Ban days.

‘‘Solid fuel fire bans are in place in NSW Na­tional Parks and Forests dur­ing the bush fire dan­ger pe­riod,’’ he said.

‘‘Take care with ve­hi­cles, ma­chin­ery and power tools in dry grass ar­eas. Have a fire ex­tin­guisher or knap­sack ready in case a fire starts.

‘‘We will ask for har­vest op­er­a­tions to cease and no per­mit burns al­lowed if the Grass Fire Dan­ger In­dex is at 35 or above.’’

Ac­cord­ing to a new Cli­mate Coun­cil re­port, NSW is fac­ing in­creas­ingly dan­ger­ous bush­fire sea­sons, start­ing ear­lier and last­ing longer as a re­sult of in­ten­si­fy­ing cli­mate change.

The ‘Ear­lier, More Fre­quent, More Dan­ger­ous: Bush­fires in NSW’, re­port shows cli­mate change ex­ac­er­bated the record break­ing heat in win­ter and early spring, spark­ing dan­ger­ous fire con­di­tions across the state and much of Aus­tralia.

Cli­mate coun­cil­lor and ecol­o­gist Pro­fes­sor Les­ley Hughes said NSW would con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence an in­creas­ing num­ber of days with dan­ger­ous fire weather, plac­ing fire ser­vices and med­i­cal professionals un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure.

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