’Very high’ fire danger as season returns
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has issued its first total fire ban for the 2020-2021 season.
Very high fire danger is forecast for northeastern New South Wales on Friday, September 25, with a total fire ban issued for the far north coast.
Due to warm, dry & windy conditions the first total fire ban will be in place for the 2020/21 fire season. Very high fire danger is forecast for NE #NSW on Fri 25 Sep, with a total fire ban to be in force for the Far Nth Coast. Check & review your bush fire survival plan #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/I6z9alRKs7— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) September 24, 2020
This includes the council areas of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.
The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a fire weather warning for the area.
"Warm, dry, windy conditions ahead of a cold front will bring elevated fire dangers in the far north coast on Friday," the BOM advises.
Total fire bans are declared by the NSW RFS Commissioner "to reduce the risk of fires damaging or destroying life, property and the environment".
"The decision to issue a total fire ban is usually made in the afternoon for the following day and usually starts at midnight and lasts for 24 hours," the NSW RFS states.
"A total fire ban may be issued on the actual day if weather conditions get worse."
Commissioner Rob Rogers was appointed earlier this year, filling the shoes of Shane Fitzsimmons who now heads the Resilience NSW agency.
Mr Fitzsimmons has described the 2019-20 bushfire season as the "deadliest and most destructive" on record.
"Not only did we see men and women from all different government organisations, non-government organisations, every state and territory across Australia, our colleagues from New Zealand, Canada, the United States, we were averaging thousands of people on the fireground, behind the scenes, day and night for week after week, month after month," he told Studio 10 on Monday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last Sunday urged the community to take five minutes to make or improve a plan "that will give your property and your family the best chance of survival should you be threatened by a bushfire".
Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said: "We saw last season how quickly fires can develop and threaten homes and lives, so now is the time to get ready."
Get Ready Weekend events are being held by brigades across the state throughout September and October in preparation for the bushfire season.
You can make a bushfire plan here.
Originally published as 'Very high' fire danger as season returns