Reduce your grass fire risk this season

We can all be forgiven for having fire preparedness low on our priority list over the last few months. However the rain that was welcome in some areas, and caused havoc in others, has led to paddocks and roadsides covered in waist high (or higher) grass, weeds and shrubs.

It will only take a week or less of hot, dry winds to dry out this vegetation, leading to a very real risk of grass fires across our region in late summer and autumn. Here’s how you can prepare.

The time to prepare is now, take simple steps to protect your property, stock, crops and other farm assets.

  • Mow, slash or heavily graze areas around assets.
  • Have a safer place identified that you can quickly move stock to in the event of a fire starting on or near your property. This may be yards, a house paddock, or a heavily grazed paddock with minimal vegetation. Ensure that this area has a sound water supply.
  • On the border of your property, create fire breaks that are twice the height of any trees on the opposite side of the fence – maintain these breaks down to bare earth if possible.
  • Check all farm firefighting equipment – make sure it works, and any tanks are kept full at all times, and make sure any personal protective equipment – long sleeved clothing, gloves, helmets – is kept handy.
  • Have a farm fire plan, and ensure everyone living and working on the property is familiar with the plan.
  • Have plans in place for how you will manage companion animals – including working dogs and horses. Where will you keep them? Do you have the required cages, floats, chains etc to move them? Do they have identification in case they go missing?

Further information is available from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

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