FIRE fighting crews from the National Parks and Wildlife Service Northern Tablelands Region have been racing against time and reducing fuel hazards before the busy summer bushfire period.
Crews have conducted more than 3000 hectares worth of burns to assist with the expected spike in wildfires over the coming months.
Walcha area manager Roger Mills said the weather had played an important part in recent activities.
“We always have a schedule of hazard reduction operations planned and ready to go – just waiting for the right conditions to present themselves,” he said.
Mr Mills said they had been fortunate in completing some large and smaller burns in the area recently, including about 2,600 hectares around the Cedar Creek section of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and 800 hectares around Youdales Camping Area within the same park, both in August.
A further 116 hectares had been burnt on the Carrai Plateau within the Carrai National Park as the first stage of a three part burn.
It is understood that throughout 2011-12, the National Parks and Wildlife Service completed about 204 prescribed burns treating an area of nearly 50,000 hectares.
Mr Mills said hazard reduction burning was highly dependent on the weather on the day and any changes in conditions could lead to a change of plans at the last moment.
“In the Carrai National Park we only completed one of the three planned burns because of a change in weather,” he said.
Mr Mills said lighting up hazard reductions in adverse weather conditions took extreme caution.
“We will continue to keep one eye on the sky with a view to completing more hazard reductions in Northern Tablelands’ parks before summer arrives,” he said.