FIRE crews have conducted more than a dozen hazard reduction burns across the Hunter over the weekend, minimising the impact that any bushfires would have on hundreds of homes this summer.
NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters who pulled on the gear and jumped on the truck across the region were relieved to be working on some bushfire mitigation rather than fighting blazes after a horror 2019-2020 fire season ended earlier this year.
There was plenty of smoke around the Hunter as RFS crews conducted prescribed burns at Fingal Bay, Neath, Beresfield, New Lambton, Cameron Park and Seahampton, minimising the risk of loss of homes for hundreds of residents.
Lower Hunter RFS district manager Superintendent Martin Siemsen stressed that hazard reduction burns don't eliminate the chance of fire, but minimise the impact of any possible fires.
He said his crews and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service had conducted two burns at Fingal Bay and one at Neath over the weekend, potentially saving 350 homes.
"We'll be looking to conduct further hazard reduction through the week around Clarence Town and Dungog if the weather keeps up," Superintendent Siemsen said.
After a horror fire season followed up by a global pandemic, firefighters and residents in bushfire prone areas would be hopeful for a cool, wet and uneventful fire season.
The long-range forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology points to a wetter than average summer, but Superintendent Siemsen said firefighters and residents should be careful not to become complacent.