Fire risk on the rise this summer

“Quite a few ignitions” across the Riverina have prompted warnings for a significantfire event this summer.

Rural Fire Service (RFS)operational officer Bradley Stewart said while thethreat of fire was “always there”, the risks were “elevated this season”.

He said fire brigades had been called to one or two grassfires per day, with flamesburning an average of10-20 hectares for the majority.

Mr Stewart said the RFS had attendedfour grassfires and an incident involving a vehicleacross the weekend alone.

He said whileblazes battled across previous weeks were “probably nothing major”,the chances were “well and truly there to have a fairly significant fire” in the coming months.

“Seasonally we’ve seen prolific grass growth,” Mr Stewartsaid.

“The extensive rain throughout springput a lot of moisture back into the soil and the soil was able toretain thatduring the warmer months which led to quite extensivegrowth.

“I would describe it easily as prolific and therefore the amount of fuel that’s available has increased.”

He said in the past, the fuel wasn’t necessarily present for the fire to “take off”, howeverthe increased growth sitting in rural areas was causing someconcern.

Mr Stewart said it was every land owner’s responsibility to prevent the occurrence and spread of fire.

Two Riverina residents have already been issued infringement notices via NSW Police for “foolish” and “reckless” acts causing fire, according to Mr Stewart.

“People fail to realise that firehas a direct impact on others if it escapes.”

“Not everyone can take up insurance…it destroys people’s livelihoods.”

Mr Stewart said more hay-bale stacks on farms in the region had increasedtheriskofspontaneous combustion,as productbreak-down created aninternalheat.

He said the resulting fire was hard to combat.

“That’s whatcausedthe Oaklands fire last week,” he said. “It’s why we encourage farmers to check their haystacks for heat.”

Mr Stewart said the community messagewasthe same and advised residents to “pay attention to fire danger warnings”.

RFS are advisingland owners to keep grass short, maintain their machinery and fire-fighting equipment.

Visit rfs.nsw.gov419论坛 for further fire-season advise.

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