Wet ground, but not out of the woods

THERE might be plenty of rain about, but the bushfire season is just beginning, fire officials have warned.
Nanjing Night Net

As the weather starts to heat up, the rural fire service says parts of the North West might look green, but there’s plenty of fuel to burn.

An escaped permit burn is still burning at Lower Creek on the Armidale Rd, from about three weeks ago.

It has since burned more than 4000 hectares of land, with crews managing to bring the blaze under control through containment lines.

Much of the fire was burning through rugged country.

Last week, crews in the Armidale area warned locals of the dangers of playing with fire, literally, after some fires in the area were deliberately lit with officials reporting multiple ignition points.

In a public appeal last week, Superintendent Mepham saida spate of grass fires in the Wollomombi area along the Waterfall Way and within Cathedral Rock and SerpentineNational Parks, are suspicious.

He urged anyone with information on the incidents to call Crime Stoppers.

Meanwhile, in Tamworth, firefighters had a relatively lucky start to the season, but have warned things could heat up as summer draws closer.

They are warning residents not to be complacent when it came to fire safety.

“It’s steady as she goes at this point in time,” said Tamworth zone Superintendent Allyn Purkiss.

“We got some hazard reduction burns in last week before the rain, at the top of New England Gully Rd.

“We tidied it (excess vegetation) up and then we got about 50 millimetres of rain and that tidied it up a bit more.”

Mr Purkiss said, generallymost people appear tobe heeding fire warnings and following permit rules in the Tamworth area, sofar this season.

The bush fire danger period, which began in most parts of the North West on October 1, meansanyone wantingto light a fire in open bush land should obtain a permit from their local fire station or control centre.

Those caught lighting fires in the danger periodwithout a permitface on-the-spotfines of up to $1100.

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