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  • Jason Regan

Prepare your property with fire breaks:RFS

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is encouraging Riverina Zone property owners to protect their assets from bush fires by creating and maintaining fire breaks on their land.

NSW RFS Operational Officer Bradley Stewart said property owners should be looking to establish fire breaks around standing crops as well as boundary fences in the near future. Asset Protection Zones (APZs) should be maintained all year round as they are a critical part of property preparation.

“A properly constructed and maintained fire break or Asset Protection Zone can help slow or even stop a fire from reaching a home or other important assets, such as crops and sheds that house expensive equipment,” Officer Stewart said.
“By establishing and maintaining fire breaks, farmers can stop fires from destroying their valuable assets including crops.

Officer Stewart said grass fires travel up to three times faster than bush fires because grass ignites so quickly.

“The most obvious fire protection measure is to plough a wide fire break around your assets and keep these clear of long grass and low tree branches.
“There are also other measures farmers and landholders should consider implementing to minimise the damage a bush fire can cause.
"Grazing, slashing, herbicides or burning off should also be part of farmers’ planning for fire breaks and Asset Protection Zones,” Officer Stewart said.

Livestock owners can help their own cause by following best practice grazing to do some of the work for them.

“A stock rotation plan can help keep paddocks near buildings well-grazed and a clear area should be set aside as a refuge for livestock if a fire breaks out.
“Property owners should frequently maintain their APZs to ensure they remain ready at all times.”

NSW RFS members can help farmers and landholders devise a farm fire plan for their property. Anyone needing assistance should contact their local Fire Control Centre.


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