Illegal fires spark NSW RFS concerns

Burn-off warning from RFS.
Burn-off warning from RFS.

Concerned about the number of illegal fires in the district during recent months, some of which escaped to burn out of control, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is reminding residents to follow the law and remain vigilant.

“Even though the Bush Fire Danger Period has not yet started, there are a number of precautions that must be taken year-round,” said Superintendent Troy Porter of the RFS Cudgegong District.

“Failing to take these precautions, including the required advance notification, is illegal and may result in penalties ranging from a warning letter to court action.”

Since the end of last year’s Bush Fire Danger Period there have been 12 illegal burns in the District including three that escaped to burn out of control with the potential to become major bush fires.

“The law requires that you must notify the RFS, all residents who adjoin the site of your planned fire and anyone else who may be affected at least 24 hours before lighting-up,” Superintendent Porter said.

“The smoke produced from your fire has the potential to impact upon other people. Your neighbours may be exposed to smoke and may need to make preparations to avoid any negative impacts. “

You can notify the RFS by calling the Cudgegong District Fire Control Centre in Mudgee on (02) 6372 4434.

“When you notify us about your planned burn we record that information, including when you expect to light up,” Superintendent Porter said.

“Then if a passer-by sees your fire and calls 000 we are able to check the burn list and either call you or send someone out to make sure everything is OK rather than triggering an emergency response.”