A recent fire in the Clarence Valley
A recent fire in the Clarence Valley Ed Newbery

Panic burning stretches Clarence firies

A GLUT of burning off before permits are required at the start of next month, has led to volunteer RFS units being called to many out of control blazes in the past week.

In a post on their Facebook page, the Clarence RFS said their units had been called to 34 incidents, many of which was the result of land owners burning off and losing control of their fire.

"Some have been minor fires, while others continue to require significant resourcing from the Rural Fire Service & Forest Corporation," it said.

"Recent frosts and the absence of any significant rain over the past few months has increased the potential for fires to rapidly escalate."

Operations officer NSW Rural Fire Service Clarence Ian Smith said that many people were burning in the false perception that they had to burn off before the bushfire danger period commenced on August 1.

"We tend to find most years people try to do a heap of burning just before the bushfire danger period because the perception is you can't burn after that," he said.

"People need a permit to burn after that date, but that shouldn't be an obstacle.

"The permits are simple to get - they ring our number 6644 5135, and someone will go and confirm that they have strategies in place for the burn."

Mr Smith said that with more than 20 trucks out trying to contain these fires, their own backburning operations the RFS had planned now needed to be postponed.

"People need to have sufficient resources, and have sound containment strategies, as well as notifying both the RFS and the local fire control centre at least 24 hours before burning all year round," he said.

"They persist in lighting up fires because that's what they always do, but should the fire leave their property without a containment strategy there's a real likelihood they'll end up with legal action against them."



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