CONCERN over an expected El Nino weather pattern this summer has prompted the NSW Rural Fire Service to bring forward the start of the bushfire season from October 1.
Federal Rural Fire Brigade captain John Nardi said now was the time for Byron Shire residents to develop a written bushfire survival plan.
"A plan will give you the information you need before an emergency happens," he said.
"I also recommend clearing leaf litter, long grass or hanging branches from the garden, and removing flammable fuels from under and around the house."
The early onset of the statutory Bush Fire Danger Period also means a fire permit is now mandatory for people wanting to light a fire on their property.
"Fines have been increased from $550 to $1100 for lighting fires for land clearance or for fire breaks during a bushfire danger period, for lighting fires dangerous to buildings, and for contravening any condition of a NSW Rural Fire Service fire permit," Mr Nardi said.
He said never to underestimate how quickly fire could get out of control. - Veda Dante.
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