Severe weather outlook: Mid Lachlan Valley RFS firefighters concerned

CONCERNED: NSW Rural Fire Service Mid Lachlan Valley district manager Superintendent Ken Neville says the Bureau of Meteorology's severe weather outlook has left firefighters concerned about the season ahead.
CONCERNED: NSW Rural Fire Service Mid Lachlan Valley district manager Superintendent Ken Neville says the Bureau of Meteorology's severe weather outlook has left firefighters concerned about the season ahead.

TINDER dry conditions and a severe weather outlook for an increasing risk of heatwaves and bushfires have left Mid Lachlan Valley NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) zone firefighters concerned.

The predictions were released this week in the Bureau of Meteorology's severe weather outlook for the October to April period.

Meteorologist Dr Adam Morgan said there was a higher than usual chance of extreme heat developing along with the deepening drought in inland areas this summer.

"Large parts of Australia are extremely dry as we head into the warmer months, especially in the east where some areas have seen very little now for three years," he said.

"We expect the warm and dry trends to continue for the remainder of the year.

Mid Lachlan Valley RFS district manager Superintendent Ken Neville said bushland areas across the zone were of greatest concern to firefighters.

There's less moisture so trees will burn a lot easier.

Mid Lachlan Valley RFS district manager Superintendent Ken Neville

"There's less moisture so trees will burn a lot easier," he said.

"With the drought and lack of rain we've had everything is just tinder dry."

Supt Neville said storm season, which runs from October to March, also increases the risk of bushfires.

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"Our biggest threat now that we're in storm season is lightning strikes, they're responsible for a number of fires each year," he said.

"It's something that's certainly happened in Goobang National Park, the Weddin Mountains and the Manna Mountains.

"If a fire starts it'll burn quickly."

So far this year Parkes has received well below average rainfall with just 198.8 millimetres recorded to the end of September. The long term average is 446.1mm.

CONCERNED: The Mid Lachlan Valley RFS remote area firefighting team in training in preparation for the upcoming fire season. Photo: SUPPLIED

CONCERNED: The Mid Lachlan Valley RFS remote area firefighting team in training in preparation for the upcoming fire season. Photo: SUPPLIED

Permits are required for all burn offs on rural properties during the bushfire danger period and these can be obtained by contacting your local fire control centre.

People are also urged to be careful when any equipment that creates sparks on hot and windy day.

"Every year we have fires that start from people using grinders or welders," Supt Neville said.

"Don't use them on total fire ban days or very high fire danger days as heavy penalties can apply."

There is a total fire ban in all national parks and state forests across the region until the end of bushfire danger period on March 31, 2020.

People in the Mid Lachlan Valley RFS zone are urged to download a Bushfire Survival Plan now and to discuss with their family whether they will stay and defend their property during a fire or leave.

If you do see an unattended fire call triple-0 immediately.

Stay up-to-date with fires in your area on the NSW RFS Fires Near Me website or app.