Relaxed but on alert
CLARENCE Valley Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews have been lucky enough to have a relaxed start to 2012 but are warning the bushfire season is far from over.
Clarence Valley RFS operations officer Brian Williams said despite conditions being almost perfect for bushfires, crews had hardly been troubled so far this year.
"Quite frankly, we've been very fortunate so far this year - we haven't had a single call-out to anything other than a couple of grass fires, which were lit by people not knowing the regulations of permits, but other than that we've escaped unscathed," Mr Williams said.
"It's been one of the rare years where our volunteers were all able to stay at home with their families for the Christmas/new year period - last year in the wet, we were out busy with floods and everything so this year has been very kind to the volunteers at this stage.
"It seems everybody has been quite vigilant about fire in the Clarence Valley this summer at this point in time."
Mr Williams said he liked to think the quiet season so far was thanks - in part - to RFS messages about the importance of people preparing their properties against bushfires, and also just being fire-wise, starting to get through to people.
However, as fortunate as the Clarence Valley has been so far, Mr Williams said it was no time to be complacent.
He said we are still in the height of the fire season and the recent wet weather means there is no shortage of dry grass to fuel any bushfires that break out.
For more information about being prepared for bushfires and what to do in the event of one, drop in to the Clarence Valley RFS office at 15 Coldstream St, Ulmarra. or visit the website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.