’Excellent news’: Rain puts out all but one bushfire
THANKS to heavy rain over the past week, all but one bushfire on the Northern Rivers has been extinguished, but the region is not out of the danger zone just yet.
Weather Zone observations show the Lismore LGA has received the most rain so far this year, with a total of 205.8mm.
Ballina came in at 167.0mm, Byron Bay 161.2mm and Casino 153.4mm.
Rural Fire Service Northern Zone Superintendent Michael Brett confirmed significant rainfall had helped in containing and extinguishing the fires.
But he said residents still needed to remain diligent and proactive in bushfire preparedness.
"Based on the amount of rain over the weekend, we were able to put the Mt Nardi and Border Trail fire from patrol to out," Supt Brett said.
"It's really excellent news."
The only bushfire currently burning in the region is at Myall Creek, north of Maclean.
It will today be assessed by the RFS.
"That fire was burning in peat, and with its high carbon content peat needs a considerable amount of water to be extinguished," Supt Brett said.
"We need to make sure it's had significant rainfall to actually extinguish the peat, because it is quite possible with a couple of days of dry weather it could pop back up again."
Sup Brett said permits were now available for people across the Northern Rivers.
"What will happen is that people will think, 'it's rained, the risk is gone'," he said.
"(But) they still need a permit (for hazard reduction burns)... they still need to notify their neighbours and comply with those requirements.
"People must have containment strategies in place and give the RFS 24 hours notice prior to burning."
He said now was the time to preparing for the next bush fire season.
"The key for me is what happened in Mt Nardi - rainforest country that traditionally hasn't burnt for a long time," Supt Brett said.
"It's shown people that rainforests do burn when the conditions are dry enough.
"If this is going to become the norm for the future, we need to have a lot more diligence and people need to be more proactive in preparing their properties."