Hot March ends fire season
THE Rural Fire Service has declared Coffs Harbour and Bellingen's summer bushfire season is over, as new figures show March was one of the hottest on record.
Bureau of Meteorology figures show the average high temperature in Coffs Harbour was 27.5 degrees in March - the second hottest March on record since 1954.
2016 had the hottest February on record with an average high temperature of 28.5 degrees.
With little rain, fire crews were on alert throughout the peak season, responding to several larger blazes including a bushfire that burned through 83ha next to Coffs Harbour Airport in January.
RFS Coffs Harbour superintendent Sean McArdle said the end of the 2015-16 season meant permits were no longer required for hazard reduction burns.
He said residents still needed to remain alert, and notify neighbours 24 hours before burning.
"Despite milder conditions there is always the potential for fires to threaten life, property and the environment if not managed correctly," Mr McArdle said.