The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) today announced six Local Government Areas (LGAs) will commence the Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) today, due to prevailing local conditions.
Armidale Regional, Walcha, Uralla, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell and Tenterfield will all enter the BFDP which is set to begin on August 1.
"While an early fire season is not unusual in these areas, increased grass growth due to recent rain could prove problematic over coming weeks and months," NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said.
"Land holders and firefighters are reporting increased grass growth, particularly west of the divide. Once dry or cured this will bring an unwelcome threat of grass fires.
"Grass fires can be especially dangerous because they start quickly and spread rapidly, destroying not only homes and stock, but also lives and livelihoods."
During the BFDP, landowners and managers are required to obtain a Fire Permit from their local Fire Control Centre before lighting any fires, including hazard reduction burns.
Commissioner Rogers said now is the time for residents and land managers to start preparing for the threat of bush and grass fire.
"Last season was unprecedented, in terms of area burnt, lives lost and homes destroyed," he said.
"We cannot be complacent coming in to this season thinking that we won't see fire activity again.
"Bush and grass fires can strike at any time and it is vitally important to be prepared.
"This means doing simple things like cleaning your gutters, removing combustibles from your yard, ensuring hoses can reach all corners of your property and completing or updating your bush fire survival plan, so you and your family know what you will do in the event of a bush fire.
"I encourage households to update their bush fire survival plan and make sure the whole family knows what to do when faced with a fire. It could save your lives.
"Ask yourself, when you will go, what you will take and where will you go."
Information about hazard reduction burning, required notifications and obtaining fire permits is available on the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/BFDP.