Local Leaders | NSW Farmers: Be prepared this coming fire season

Our thoughts are with all those property owners, volunteers and communities impacted by recent severe fires in northern NSW. The official Southern Tablelands Zone Bushfire danger period starts October 1. Landholders will need a permit from their local RFS Brigade to do any burning and follow all conditions involved.

Everyone should have a Bushfire Survival Plan prepared for themselves, livestock and pets and be ready to follow it at short notice as this season is predicted to be particularly severe following the prolonged drought. Although there is very little grass in many paddocks, timbered areas are an extremely high risk.

Water availability is a concern as, due to minimal run-off, many dams are low or dry and limited water in creeks and rivers will be difficult to access.

The NSW RFS is aware of the impact of drought on farmers and has provisions for special fire permits for disposal of deceased livestock when needed.

Additionally, if RFS needs to take water from properties for firefighting purposes, there is provision for replacement of this water and landholders can contact their local LLS office if this is needed.

Drones are increasing in popularity both for business and recreation purposes. It is vital that if aircraft are being used to assist with firefighting that all drone activities in that area cease. If a drone is detected above a fireground, all aircraft have to be grounded for safety reasons.

Margaret Cameron.

Margaret Cameron.