Fire season officially begins on Monday after the NSW Rural Fire Service declared the start of the bushfire danger period.
It means residents in Armidale, Uralla, Guyra, Glen Innes, Inverell, Tenterfield, and Walcha will need to obtain a permit before lighting a fire.
And on days when a total fire ban is in place, all fire permits, and bush fire hazard reduction certificates are automatically suspended.
Higher winds and a lack of green growth make August and September a danger period for the region.
NSW RFS superintendent Steve Mepham said he strongly urged people to exercise extreme caution when carrying out burns.
“While it is important to continue hazard reduction, we have all seen the devastation that bushfires can inflict on a community,” he said.
“Residents can ask their local fire control centre for assistance in carrying out safe hazard reduction and for advice about whether they need a hazard reduction certificate.”
Residents are encouraged to prepare their properties by removing flammable materials from their yard, clearing gutters of leaves and checking hoses.
Bushfire survival plans should also be refreshed and reviewed and can be downloaded on the RFS website.
RFS Northern Tablelands superintendent Chris Wallbridge said the region was due for a bad fire season.
“Historically, every seven years we have a big season,” he said.
Historically, every seven years we have a big season ... so we are about due.- RFS Northern Tablelands superintendent Chris Wallbridge
“And the last time was the 2009 - 2010 season, so we are about due.”
“At this time of the year, the weather is the main factor.”
Last week 50 members of the Northern Tablelands RFS meet in Torrington for their pre-season meeting.
The service is already responding to small fires and is reminding people to never leave a fire unattended.
“With conditions becoming more conducive to the spread of fire, people need to be extremely careful when using fire.”
“If a fire does escape, it is essential to call 000 immediately so that emergency services can respond,” superintendent Mepham said.
To check the fire danger rating and total fire ban declarations for you area visit www.frs.nsw.gov.au
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