Photo: House fire in Murrumbateman in 2021

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is encouraging holidayers travelling through the Southern Tablelands area to be fire-wise.

Operational Officer Mitchell Butler said while there has been heavy rainfall across most of NSW, that doesn’t mean that people can become complacent about fires.

“Recent rain has seen an increase in grass and fuel loads, which can catch alight and – particularly with periods of hot, windy conditions – we can see small fires quickly escalate into a major incident,” he said.

For people who plan to travel to the Southern Tablelands area for camping, Operational Officer Butler has some advice.

“Place fires and barbeques at least two metres from flammable materials, on an existing fire site or cleared area where the wind will blow flames away from tents. It’s also important that fires are attended by a responsible adult.”

“Make sure you always extinguish your fire and turn off fuel lanterns and stoves before you leave or go to bed – heavy fines may apply if campfires or other open flames are left unattended.”

Campers are also advised to ensure gas cylinders are vented away from a caravan, and to never drop or discard lit cigarettes or matches.

Those who plan to head out on a bushwalk should check the most up-to-date information on local conditions including fires, floods and National Park closures.

Check the local weather so that you have the appropriate clothing and equipment for a safe and comfortable journey.

“But most importantly, make a bush fire survival plan and discuss it with your family or travelling companions. Know what you will do if threatened by fire.”