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Illegal Fires Spark RFS Concerns

posted Aug 10, 2017, 2:24 PM by 2MG Real FM

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

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is reminding residents they let the RFS
and their neighbours at least 24 hours before lighting up and take other simple safety precautions.

“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 that covers most of the Mid Western Regional Council area.

“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.”

“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 a full scale emergency response.”

These additional measures will help ensure your burn is safe and legal:
• Before lighting up, ensure that you have suitable tools on hand (rakes and shovels) to
conduct the burn and control any possible spot fires.

• Accelerants such as petrol must never be used in the fire.

• Ensure that you have access to a sufficient water supply and that you have a hose with
appropriate water pressure to extinguish the fire if required and to contain any spot fires.

• Ensure that you wear protective clothing such as heavy cotton pants, a long-sleeved
shirt, leather work boots, work gloves and a wide-brimmed hat.

• Consider the weather. Only light up if the weather conditions are calm. High wind
speeds make the fire more difficult to contain and can cause any escape to spread

• Before you light up check the Fire Danger Rating for the day of your planned burn. You
can find the Fire Danger Rating and additional information on the RFS web site at

“Before you start you should be confident that you can carry out the burn,” Superintendent
Porter said. “Ultimately you are responsible for any fire you light and if it escapes you may be
liable for the damage it causes.”