Rain fails to relieve bushfire fears

THE fire danger on the North Coast remains high despite weekend rainfall, the NSW Rural Fire Service has warned.

Incident controller Superintendent Matt Inwood said the rainfall had been very patchy and not substantial with more falls along the coast than inland.

He said that while this had lessened the immediate fire threat the weather forecast was for north-westerly winds from mid-week that would also bring warmer temperatures.

Supt Inwood said the rainfall had not been sufficient to lower the fire danger, and the predicted north-westerly winds would quickly dry out the vegetation, so he urged rural residents to continue to exercise caution.

With no substantial rainfall predicted by the weather bureau leading up to summer, Supt Inwood said it was likely to be a long and hot summer causing a difficult fire season.

A smouldering fire in the Braemar State Forest near Rappville is now under control following light overnight showers, with fire crews continuing to monitor the area.

The Collins Creek Road fire was again under control yesterday after hot weather on Saturday caused it to break containment lines, with fire crews preventing it from spreading to five nearby properties.

The Banyabba State Forest continues to be monitored by fire crews.

A fire late last week which burned through 25 hectares in the Hogarth Range near Mongogarie is no longer a threat, although Supt Inwood said fire crews would continue to patrol the area.

Every home should have a bushfire survival plan encompassing the decision to either 'Leave Early' or to 'Stay and Defend' to ensure that you are prepared and know what to do in the event of a bushfire.

Everyone's bushfire survival plan will be different and needs to reflect individual situations and circumstances. Remember, once you have completed your plan you need to ensure your property is properly prepared, regardless of your decision to 'Leave Early' or to 'Stay and Defend'.

For more information on how to prepare for a bushfire and to download a copy of the Bushfire Survival Plan, visit the fire service's website www.bushfire.nsw.gov.au.

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