Bushfire outlook for North Coast better than rest of state

THE North Coast looks likely to be spared the worst ravages of bush fires this summer.

The North Coast and the state's far west are the only parts of the NSW which do not have an above normal fire potential for the 2013-2014 Bush Fire Danger Period.

That's according to the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (Bushfire CRC) which predicts the majority of NSW will experience above average fire conditions this season.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the Bushfire CRC's predictions were a timely reminder of the risks of bush and grass fires and the importance of early preparation.

"Our warmest winter on record, coupled with dry conditions, has helped fuel more than 1,180 fires in NSW over the last month," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

"This increased fire activity has brought forward the start of the official Bush Fire Danger Period for many areas of the state, including Tamworth, Taree, Upper Hunter and Shoalhaven.

"Crews from the NSW RFS are working with partner agencies on over 100 scheduled hazard reductions each week.

"Local RFS Brigades are also working with communities to raise their fire awareness and knowledge before the fire season.

"Regardless of where you live in NSW, even a "normal" Australian bush fire season is dangerous.

"Everyone should take the time now to prepare for the coming fire season by completing a Bush Fire Survival Plan."

The plans are available free from the RFS website or local fire authorities and are quick and simple to complete.

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