Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews are looking forward to catching their breath after the 'mad tempo' set this horrific fire season.
With the permit season ending at midnight tonight, Tamworth Superintendent Allyn Purkiss hopes now is a chance for the dedicated crews to recuperate after not just one, but three almost continuous seasons.
"This one was crazy. Continuous fire fighting. We were sending out multiple brigades every day for three months," he explained.
We've never done anything like that before, fires from coast to cost, border to border.Superintendent Allyn Purkiss
"We've never done anything like that before, fires from coast to cost, border to border."
New volunteer numbers have breached the 100 mark, not unusual after a tough fire season, and is plenty keep their numbers stable.
These new recruits would be going straight to the training yards, however with the ban on mass gatherings over two people, Supt. Purkiss said they will be heading out into the online world - for now.
"In complying with government direction, we have postponed all our face to face training," he said.
"Volunteers can to do a number of courses online, like the bushfire-fighter course, and the safety indication, the theory side of things ... and then when this is over we can focus on the practical."
With the recent rain greening up the region, he said now would be the perfect time to get all that burning done, some of which could have been left for three years.
"It's nice and green at the end of the permit season, so this will allow some people to get their hazard reductions done," he said.
But there is some catching up to do, with dead trees left over from the drought and Christmas storm damage yet to be burned.
We are saying get in now while the conditions are good and get some of those paddock burns done.Superintendent Allyn Purkiss
"We are saying get in now while the conditions are good and get some of those paddock burns done."
But always remember: Call the RFS at least 24 hours before burning, and let your neighbours know.
Common courtesy and common sense, he says, are the key things to practice at the turn of the season and as winter arrives, especially with many people now at home.
Make sure your flues are up to scratch, clean and ready to be loaded with wood as temperatures drop.
He also wished to remind residents to "be sensible" and not to overload power boards, especially with so many people all home at once.
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