Rain delays hazard burns, residents warned to prep for fires
RURAL Fire authorities are warning NSW residents to start preparing their properties for a harsh fire season after hazard reduction burning fell behind schedule.
NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said April's wet weather meant the service would not meet this year's hazard reduction target.
That, combined with an El Nino declaration from the Bureau of Meteorology had the fire service worried about the fire season, which starts in a few months.
"The recent rain has not only delayed a number of hazard reduction burns, but it will result in increased growth of grass and other vegetation," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said in a written statement.
"If the forecast conditions eventuate in late winter, all it will take is a few weeks of warm, dry weather and we will again be contending with dry landscapes."
Firefighters would continue with hazard reduction burns, but Deputy Commissioner Rogers said residents needed to make sure their properties were prepared and that they had a Bush Fire Survival Plan in place.
"I encourage everyone to take the time to prepare their property now, which means clearing gutters, maintaining gardens and checking equipment such as hoses, pumps and generators," he said.