Illegal fires burn in the Valley
ONE THIRD of the annual illegal fire activity has been reported in the last month, contributing to a large number of fires burning in the Clarence Valley.
In the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers, there has been a recent spike of illegal and escaped hazard burns that are putting pressure on local firefighters.
From yesterday afternoon, there were 10 fires burning across the Clarence Valley, with a number out of control.
With dry conditions plaguing the Clarence Valley and most of the state at the moment, the days leading up to the Fire Danger Period has been busy.
Only 10.2mm of rain has fallen at the Grafton Research Station and 9.2mm at the Grafton Airport in the month of July.
Figures have been similar in some of the Clarence Valley's more remote areas receiving less than 10mm of rain.
NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said one-third of all ille gal fire activity reported in the Northern Rivers District during the past year had occurred within the last month.
"With a team of extra fire investigators in the region targeting illegal burns, if you do the wrong thing, you will face the consequences," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.
"We have received many reports about people lighting up without providing proper notifications and carelessly allowing burns to escape, which poses a very real and potentially deadly risk to your community if that escaped burn takes hold.
"Given the prevailing dry conditions, it is vital that you only light up when it is safe to do so and make sure that you comply with the rules, even if you have conducted burns on your property for years."
With yesterday marking the beginning of the the fire season, the Deputy Comissioner reminded people that a fire permit was needed first.
Heavy fines apply for the unsafe use of fire, or if a fire escapes - landholders who fail to notify firefighters and neighbours face fines of up to $5,500 and/or 12 months jail while escaped fires attract penalties of up to $110,000 and/or five years prison.
July 2018 rainfall data
- Copmanhurst 10.6mm
- Newton Boyd 8.4mm
- Nymboida 18.5mm
- Baryulgil 23.4mm
- Glenreagh 20.2mm
- Minnie Water 26mm
- Lawrence 12.6mm