The NSW Rural Fire Service is warning residents of an increased risk of grass fires across the Liverpool Range District including the Gunnedah local government area.

NSW RFS Superintendent Paul McGrath said the recent warm and dry weather in the Liverpool Range District area has cured grass to such a high level that it now presents a serious fire threat.

“Under hot and windy conditions, grass fires can spread quickly and threaten lives, property, crops and stock,” Supt McGrath said.

“I urge Liverpool Range landholders to be aware of this threat and of the risks associated with using machinery and harvesting during these conditions. In recent weeks there has been an increase of grass fires in the area due to the welding of fences and farm gates.

“Every landholder should be prepared for fire and have firefighting equipment on hand, such as a full knapsack, spray pumper or a handheld chemical fire extinguisher, each in good working order.”

The warning about increased fire risk also applied to the Liverpool Plains and Upper Hunter local government areas.

Superintendent Paul McGrath said grass fires travel much faster than bush fires because grass ignites so quickly.

“Liverpool Range residents and rural property owners and managers need to ensure they have an up-todate bush fire survival plan and know what they, their family and employees will do if a fire threatens their property,” he said.

The warning followed a cool change and showers in the Gunnedah region late last week. The Bureau of Meteorology reported that Gunnedah received 6.8mm in 24 hours to 9am last Friday. It was the first rain for September after just 10mm for the entire month of August.

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