Fire fighters across the Mid Coast have received some welcome respite with light rain falling across the district in the past 24 hours.
Superintendent Kam Baker, District Manager for the Mid Coast NSW Rural Fire Service said the forecast for up to 50 millimetres of rain over the next few days is a welcome relief and will greatly assist the current firefighting operations.
Efforts this week will be focused on strengthening containment lines at the Little Back Creek fire north west of Taree and the Belbora Fire to the north east of Gloucester.
All other fires across the district will continue to be patrolled by brigades for the remainder of the week Solid fuel fire bans remain in place for State Forests and National Parks.
There are a number of fire in the recent weeks that are currently under investigation by NSW Police and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Rural fighters dealt with a bush fire across six hectares at Jimmys Road in Herons Creek over the weekend, as well as a small bush fire, described as out of control, at Old King Creek Road at King Creek near Wauchope.
Rural firefighters also controlled a 1623 hectare fire west of Comboyne on Sunday September 24, that destroyed a house, some sheds and a lot of fencing and pasture land.
Other fires have burned at Kerewong State Forest and Blackbutt Road, a bush fire north of Pappinbarra across 142 hectares at Skink Trail in Hastings Forest Way, a bush fire which was reported at 256 Hacks Ferry Road north of Port Macquarie across one hectare and a small bush fire in Jaspers Creek at Yarras.
Superintendent Baker said with so many fires under investigation it is vital for communities to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers on 1 800 333 000.
Severe penalties apply for those who deliberately light bush fires. The offence is under section 203 of the crimes act – Causing a fire or recklessly causing a fire carries a penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Under rural fires act, for lighting a fire on a total fire ban day a 500 penalty unit ($500) applies or 12 months imprisonment or both.
To cause or set fire to property of another is 1000 penalty units ($10,000) or five years imprisonment or both.
“The rain, whilst welcome will not be sufficient to reduce the bush fire risk and fire permits will remain suspended,” he said.
Travellers and residents should be ready to implement their bush fire survival plan. If you do not have a plan visit myfireplan.com.au and know what you will do if a fire threatens.
Monitor the situation closely and keep key information available. Download the Fires Near Me application available on Android and IOS from the App Store and visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
There will continue to be smoke across the Mid Coast region over the weekend. Report all unattended fires to Emergency Triple Zero (000). For further information on fires in the area contact the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 NSW RFS (1800 679 737).