GETTING READY: McLeans Ridges couple Mick and Cindy Robinson and their children Alex, 8, and Emma, 5, make sure their fire plan is in place.
GETTING READY: McLeans Ridges couple Mick and Cindy Robinson and their children Alex, 8, and Emma, 5, make sure their fire plan is in place. Cathy Adams

Reduce your fire risk

PREPARING your home for the bushfire season may prevent it from being destroyed.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Far North Coast operations officer Bob Wilcox said if good rainfall did not continue, the Northern Rivers could be in for a bad fire season.

"The weather conditions can change at any time. It's important to prepare your property no matter what the conditions," he said.

While many people were proactive with taking steps to reduce bushfire risks, others were not, Insp Wilcox said.

Urban properties which backed on to bushland and rural properties needed to be prepared.

Removing any fuel from around the property would go a long way towards reducing the potential impact of a fire, Insp Wilcox said.

Fuel is anything which is flammable, including vegetation.

Also, removal of leaves and dry matter from gutters would reduce the risk of embers igniting in the eaves.

The RFS has several online tools which can help householders prepare for bushfires.

A bushfire household online assessment tool allows landholders to put in information about their property and receive a risk assessment in real time.

Another program helps householders assess their capacity to defend their property during a bushfire. It asks questions about their age, physical fitness and level of knowledge about defending a property against bushfires.

The majority of bushfire deaths occur when people try to leave their properties at the last moment. Tools which can assist with the development of a bushfire survival plan are also available on the RFS website.

There is presently a very high fire risk across the Northern Rivers.

For more information, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.



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