EARLY preparations for the beginning of the fire season at the end of the month were under way yesterday with a number of Rural Fire Service volunteers undergoing hazard reduction burns to the south and west of Dubbo.
Two units from the Boothenba RFS were working along the rail line easement on Minore and Rosedale roads mid-morning with Ryan Bass, Kate Heilbronn, Maree Mansfield, Shane Mansfield and Miranda Moore firing the dry grass.
RFS community safety officer, Pat Westwood said the hazard reduction burns were still going late yesterday afternoon and he estimated about 30 hectares had been burned off.
"It's been quite slow going as we've had to keep an eye open for signal and communications gear on the rail line and keeping an eye on any possible trees that could fall on the line," Mr Westwood said.
"It's been an excellent day for burning off."
The burn along the railway line would provide a strategic break for the RFS with the bushfire season just around the corner.
Mr Westwood said the RFS burn-offs were its contribution to the community.
"Now we'd like the landholders in the district to tidy up and plan for evacuations and defending their homes," he said.
He said landholders and homeowners can download a bushfire survival plan from the RFS website at: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Mr Westwood said landholders wanted to burn off any bushfire hazards they should inform the RFS on 6881 3900.
"We encourage people to do some work to maintain their properties prior to the fire season." He said the fires along Minore Road might smoulder for several more days and if any passers-by happen to spot a flare-up or any burning trees they should also contact the RFS.