Firefighters conduct hazard reduction burns on the Mid North Coast.
Firefighters conduct hazard reduction burns on the Mid North Coast. Rural Fire Service

Firies primed for action

FIREFIGHTERS are bracing themselves for a hectic bushfire season, after what has been the driest start to spring in eight years.

The Rural Fire Service says fuel loads are at their highest in 30 or 40 years.

Already Coffs Coast fire crews have responded to a handful of minor fires, which along with hazard reduction burns, have cast thick plumes of smoke over the coastline.

A scrubfire at Sapphire Beach, at the intersection of Gaudron's Rd and the Pacific Highway yesterday burnt out a hectare of bushland before it was brought under control just after noon.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said hazard reduction burns have helped to reduce the risk since the start of the bushfire season on the Coffs Coast earlier this month.

"In coming days, agencies including the NSW RFS, Fire and Rescue NSW, National Parks, Forests NSW and local government authorities have approximately 130 burns planned across New South Wales," Mr Fitzsimmons said.

The Coffs Coast had its first 32-degree day since March on Sunday and the mercury is forecast to rise to 28 degrees today.

"The bushfire risk will increase this week with warm, gusty winds returning to Coastal NSW," Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.



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