October 1 marks the official start of the Bush Fire Danger Period and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) wants Dungog residents to prepare now.
NSW RFS Superintendent Martin Siemsen is urging residents to complete a Bush Fire Survival Plan and ensure all members of the household know what to do on days of increased fire danger and if their home is threatened by fire.
Residents should prepare their property by removing flammable materials from their yards, clearing gutters of leaves, checking hoses and, where appropriate, conducting hazard reduction activities.
"While it is important to continue hazard reduction we have all seen the devastation that bush fires 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 (000) immediately so that emergency services can respond accordingly and minimise the damage."
During the Bush Fire Danger Period any person wishing to light a fire will require a permit in Dungog, Port Stephens, Maitland and Cessnock local government areas.
On days of Total Fire Ban All Permits for Burning in the Open are automatically revoked.
To check the Fire Danger Ratings for your area visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or contact your local Fire Control Centre on 4015 0000 during business hours.