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Update on the 2016/17 fire season

Friday, 10th February 2017

Update on the 2016/17 fire season

Due to wetter winter conditions, the state experienced significant grass growth during spring. Since November, the weather has remained drier and warmer than average across southeast Australia and heatwave conditions have been experienced across the state throughout January. As a result, the fire potential is forecast as above normal for the majority of central NSW.

Heat wave conditions have been experienced across the State throughout January and February and on Sunday 12 February the most dangerous day of fire conditions in NSW history was experienced. Catastrophic fire danger was experienced in a number of areas including the Hunter, Central Ranges and Upper Central West Plains. A number of fires are still burning and warnings remain in place. The community are advised to stay informed about major fire updates, heed warnings and enact their bush fire survival plans.   

In a recent media release, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned residents of the very real threat from grass fires.

“Grass lands cover around 80% of NSW. After warm and windy conditions over recent weeks, particularly west of the Divide, the landscape is now very much susceptible to fire.

“Grass and crop fires can be especially dangerous because they start easily and spread rapidly. They can destroy not only homes and stock, but also lives and livelihoods.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said recent fires around the state had brought home the need to be prepared.

“People living in areas near crops and grass growth should have a plan for what they will do if there is a fire,” he said. “Make a bushfire survival plan and discuss it with your family.”

The trend in warmer and drier conditions is likely to continue across Eastern Australia for the three-month outlook from February to April 2017.

For more information on current incidents in NSW and how to prepare visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au  follow the NSW Rural Fire Service on  Facebook or Twitter or call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737. If you see a fire without a fire truck in attendance, please call Triple Zero (000).

For more information on the weather outlook across the state visit www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks

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