Frustrated firies urge residents to apply for permits

ON THE SPOT: A NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer subdues a burn in Goulburn. Photo: FILE, 2015
ON THE SPOT: A NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer subdues a burn in Goulburn. Photo: FILE, 2015

Local crews have expressed frustration in recent days after being called out to several fires that could have been avoided if the landholder obtained a permit.

NSW Rural Fire Service Southern Tablelands zone operational officer Lachlan Gilchrist reminded residents that despite the rain, the region was still in a bushfire danger period.

Sutton Rural Fire Brigade responded to a fire that turned out to be a pile burn at about 7pm on Tuesday, March 10.

"The call came through from a concerned resident. While the landholder was apologetic, the simple act of obtaining a permit would have prevented the need for the brigade to attend and not caused unnecessary concern to our fire weary community," Mr Gilchrist said.

The Southern Tablelands will remain in the statutory bushfire danger period until March 31.

The permit process is free, easy and ensures that fires lit within the bushfire danger period meet the criteria for safe burning, he said.

"It's also important that we know when and where you are burning so we don't have to respond volunteer crews at all hours to a fire that we should have known about."

Substantial fines can apply to anyone found in breach of the NSW Rural Fires Act and its regulations.

"We have just come through the worst fire season on record in NSW. The season isn't over yet, please continue to support our firefighters by doing the right thing and obtaining a permit," Mr Gilchrist said.

Residents can apply for a free permit through their local brigade or the Southern Tablelands zone office (02 6226 3100).