Wollondilly RFS suspends fire permits indefinitely

Firefighters work to contain flames close to homes in Wattle Grove earlier this year. Picture: AAP
Firefighters work to contain flames close to homes in Wattle Grove earlier this year. Picture: AAP

Wollondilly residents face stiff penalties if they light a fire from today (September 13).

The RFS has indefinitely stopped issuing fire permits in the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee shires, effective immediately.

People may be fined up to $2200 if they light fires during this suspension period.

The Wollondilly and Wingecarribee Bush Fire Management Committee announced the decision with support from RFS Southern Highlands on Thursday.

RFS Southern Highlands district manager, Superintendent Martin Surrey, said ongoing dry weather meant conditions weren’t safe to burn.

“A little bit of wind means fires can get out of control a lot easier so it’s not safe,” he said.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after this year’s bush fire danger period began on September 1.

The period will continue through until March 31, 2019.

Superintendent Surrey said fire permits had been suspended in Wollondilly and Wingecarribee annually since 2015.

“But this is the earliest time we’ve made the decision in the past four years,” he said.

“We’ve suspended permits in either late October or November in the past three years and they’ve remain suspended until the end of each bush fire danger period.

“We will review the decision soon and can revoke it if we get some significant rain in the coming weeks.”

Details: RFS Southern Highlands Picton office on 4677 7000.