After two wet years, fire authorities are warning Dubbo residents to prepare for an increased grass fire risk this spring and summer.
He said the medium-term forecast is for warmer than average and dryer than average weather conditions this year.
This coincides with the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services releasing its spring bushfire outlook, which warns of grass fires across the country.
In Dubbo, an area with many grass plains, this is a concern.
"We've had significant flooding events over the last couple of years. We've had a significant amount of grass growth and any fire that gets going now in the landscape will have plenty of fuel which obviously is a concern to us," Mr Milsteed told the Daily Liberal.
He said the warning affected the entire region and he recommended landholders prepare their properties now for summer.
This includes making sure fuel hasn't built up around physical assets, including farmhouses and other building structures.
Mr Milsteed recommended property owners consider their fire breaks and clean these up in preparation for fires.
He said having a garden hose which is long enough to go all the way around the house is important.
"Now is the time to start doing that stuff, because if you leave it until there is a fire, then that's too late," Mr Milsteed said.
"I would be strongly encouraging all members of the community to review their fire plans now, in preparation for summer.
"If they don't have a bushfire survival plan, then I would recommend they get one and they can do that from the RFS website - at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au - and download the bushfire survival plan.
"Complete it for your family and your property so that all members of the family know, should a fire break out, what they're going to do and where they're going to go, and what they need to take with them."
The Australian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) seasonal outlook serves as a strong reminder to communities and businesses across the country to prepare now.
The report states Australia's climate influences have shifted significantly since last spring.
"Following above average rainfall experienced during consecutive La Nina years, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a switch to higher chances of above average temperatures and below average rainfall for almost the entire country," the report states.
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"Recent rainfall means many regions have also seen increased fuel growth, which is contributing to increased risk of bushfire for many regions of Australia during the spring season."
Dubbo is among the regions identified as one with increased risk.
AFAC CEO Rob Webb said: "Fire is a regular part of the Australian landscape in spring. Wherever you live, work or travel, now is the time to plan and prepare. Understand your risk, know where you will get your information, and talk to your family about what you will do."
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