Issued 13.30hrs Tuesday 13 February 2018
A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Greater Hunter tomorrow, Wednesday 14 February. The Total Fire Ban comes as the Fire Danger Rating for the region increases to Severe as a result of continuing high temperatures and forecast windy conditions.
The Total Fire Ban, commencing at 12.01am tonight, covers the following councils:
- Greater Hunter (Severe) – Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter
No fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended during a Total Fire Ban. Gas and electric barbeques may be used provided certain conditions are met.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) provides the following advice.
Under Severe fire conditions:
- Leaving early is the safest option for your survival.
- Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety – but only stay if you are physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions.
- Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and remain vigilant.
- Keep informed by listening to local radio, watching television news broadcasts and monitoring www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
With the firefighting operations continuing in the Wollemi National Park and Putty State Forest, Incident Controller Superintendent Kam Baker is urging with residents to exercise caution as conditions deteriorate.
“Firefighters have been working around the clock for four weeks now on a number of fires started by lightning strikes across the region. The last thing we need is to be responding to fires that could be easily prevented.”
“Severe penalties apply for anyone caught lighting a fire on a Total Fire Ban day, attracting an on the spot fine of $2200. Penalties of $1320 apply to anyone caught discarding a lit cigarette on a Total Fire Ban Day”, Superintendent Baker said.
Total Fire Ban will be enforced until 11.59pm Wednesday 14 February 2018. Further information about Total Fire Bans are available from www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Should residents detect a fire without a fire truck in attendance, contact Triple Zero (000) immediately.