NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is reminding landholders to exercise extra care when conducting private hazard reduction burns, following a number of escaped fires during the past week.
Since August 1, volunteer firefighters have responded to 444 bush and grass fires across NSW, including 64 fires in the Clarence Valley area. Commissioner Fitzsimmons said a number of these fires were caused by escaped private hazard reduction burns, including some fires north-west of the Northern Beaches.
Preliminary investigations by Building Impact Assessment teams have so far confirmed the loss of:
- Four homes at Kremnos
- One home at Collombatti (Kempsey LGA)
- Seven outbuildings at Kremnos
- Four vehicles at Kremnos.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said any landholder who lit a fire without a permit, or when permits have been suspended, now faced an increased penalty of $1100.
"Local volunteers have indicated to me that they are fed up and frustrated about having to attend incidents started by the careless and irresponsible use of fire," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
The Bush Fire Danger Period is now in effect across the 22 Local Government Areas in north east NSW, due to dry conditions.
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