Bushfire danger period begins today.
Bushfire danger period begins today. JOE DUNN

Bushfire danger period starts today

TODAY marks the start of the bushfire danger period for the Clarence Valley, with restrictions now in place to reduce the threat of bushfire.

During the danger period, a fire permit is required for any burning activities to help ensure fire is used safely and minimise the danger to landholders, property and the community.

Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said fire permits are available free of charge from the RFS, and heavy penalties can apply for anyone not following the restrictions.

"Any fire requires a permit and must remain with the boundaries specified," Supt Watts said.

"Notification issues must be adhered to, and anyone wishing to use fire must tell neighbours they're burning. If people don't notify neighbours or the fire escapes its containment area, people could be issued infringement notices or substantial fines."

Supt Watts said it is too early to predict how bad the bushfire danger period will be.

"It's early days at this point of time, but the land and grass and fuel is quite dry, and from September 1 the weather does change, so we could be moving into a volatile time," he said.

"It has been reasonably dry at points during the winter, and moving into warmer days and drier periods, whatever advantage we got through the winter rains are all but gone now."

Fire permits help make sure fire is used safely during the danger period, and impose conditions on the way a fire is lit and maintained and can only be issued by authorised Permit Issuing Officers.

The permit system ensures agencies like the RFS know when and where landholders intend to burn and confirm that appropriate measures are in place so that fires remain under control.

For more details on the bushfire danger period, visit the RFS website at http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/