Fire danger season starts Thursday, our RFS is getting prepared

Forbes group captain Jeff House and RFS operational officer Jock Corcoran look over the map of the Mid Lachlan Valley region.
Forbes group captain Jeff House and RFS operational officer Jock Corcoran look over the map of the Mid Lachlan Valley region.

The bushfire danger period begins next Thursday, October 1, and there is the very real potential for this to be a big season in our region.

The team at the Rural Fire Service's Mid Lachlan Valley headquarters are working now to reduce the risk and prepare, partnering with other agencies to reduce the fuel load on public land and ensuring our local volunteer brigades are ready to respond should fire start.

Inspector Robyn Favelle says staff have been out across the region inspecting villages, towns and major assets for works that need to be done before conditions dry off this summer.

There's certainly a lot of grass and crop out there, but at the moment everything is green and the wet weather does look likely to continue in the near future.

The danger will come as the weather heats up and if things do dry out this summer.

The RFS is working with local government, State Forest, National Parks and other relevant agencies to ensure works such as the slashing of roadsides take place.

"We have also got the Mitigation Crews, they do works around towns and villages as we request," Insp Favelle said, explaining they'll be starting work in Condobolin on Monday.

But our RFS is asking that property owners do their bit to reduce the hazard and put in fire breaks.

Permits are required for all burns from October 1.

To obtain a permit you need to contact the fire control centre or your local brigade captain, then you or they can fill out the online notification at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/notify

"Harvest coming on is an added danger," Insp Favelle said, particularly urging croppers to familiarise themselves with the RFS grain harvesting guide that helps determine when humidity levels and wind speeds make it unsafe to harvest.

With the possibility of the best harvest in years ahead of us, the RFS is appealing to people not to take risks this season.

The grain harvesting and fire safety guide is available on the RFS website - rfs.nsw.gov.au - under the plan and prepare section, or from the RFS headquarters in Union Street.

Mid Lachlan Valley has had a quiet few years as far as fire danger goes, experiencing prolonged drought while other regions were devastated by fire last summer.

But volunteer brigades are stepping up in readiness for the fire season, back in training after a break due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"There has been a lot of work done on the appliances to make sure they are all ready," Insp Favelle added.

The Mid Lachlan Valley is also expecting a delivery of four new tankers to go to volunteer brigades in coming weeks.

This story Fire danger season starts Thursday, our RFS is getting prepared first appeared on Forbes Advocate.