Lower Hunter residents are being urged to “be ready now, not at the last minute” as the bush fire danger period has been brought forward to Saturday.
The danger period normally kicks off on October 1, but will begin a month early this year due to a lack of ground moisture and very dry conditions.
“Unfortunately we’re getting bush fires in winter,” Lower Hunter Rural Fire Service district officer Bert Pippen said.
Last year, a major fire broke out at Richmond Vale on a scorching day in September, before the official danger period even began.
During the bushfire danger period, a fire permit is required for burning activities.
Mr Pippen said people who do light fires that become out of control could face fines for their actions.
He also encouraged people to keep their yards tidy and gutters clear.
For more information about the bushfire danger period, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/BFDP.