Some wet weather across the Hunter in the past fortnight has temporarily pulled the brakes on hazard reduction burns, but the NSW Rural Fire Service plans to make a call later this week about possible further operations as the official fire season draws nearer.
RFS Lower Hunter commander Superintendent Martin Siemsen said moisture across the region had been too high to conduct hazard reduction burns in recent days.
It comes after burns took place in the Coalfields and Port Stephens areas at the end of August, with favourable weather conditions helping firefighters prepare places that have been historically prone to blazes.
Superintendent Siemsen said his team hoped to conduct further burns in the Neath, Dungog and Cessnock areas from next week - possibly also in the area bordering Maitland - but they would further consider the conditions at the end of this week.
While the bushfire danger period began on September 1 in a handful of locations across the state - including Singleton, Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook - the remainder of NSW is set to enter fire season on October 1.
During the bushfire danger period, permits are required before anyone can light a fire and all permits are revoked on Total Fire Ban days.
The authorities are hoping conditions will not be as bad as the disastrous 2019-20 season, but have warned that any day can quickly turn dangerous.
Firefighters will have their eyes out for grass fires in particular this season in the Hunter.
As the start of the fire season approaches, the RFS is reminding people about the importance of having a Bushfire Survival Plan in place and to prepare their properties to reduce the risk of damage and danger - including removing flammable items from yards, clearing gutters of leaves, checking hoses and hazard reduction operations where appropriate.
"While it is important to continue hazard reduction, we have all seen the devastation that bushfires can bring to a community, so I strongly urge people to exercise caution when carrying out these activities," Superintendent Siemsen said.
"Residents can ask their local Fire Control Centre for assistance in carrying out safe hazard reductions and for advice about whether they need a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate.
"With summer conditions becoming more conducive to the spread of fire, people need to be extremely careful when using fire. Never leave a fire unattended and if a fire does escape, it is essential to call Triple Zero immediately so that emergency services can respond accordingly and minimise the damage."
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