TAMWORTH'S top fire fighter believes the COVID-19 pandemic has been the perfect rest his battle-hardened crews needed after a long summer.
During the summer months, crews from across the region were called to fight countless blazes across the state.
However, Tamworth RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said the coronavirus lockdown had given his crews a well-earned rest.
"The COVID stuff has helped keep things pretty steady for our volunteers recently," Superintendent Purkiss told the Leader.
"Due to social distancing measures, we haven't been doing the training we would normally do, but we are starting to get back into that now.
"Honestly, we are very pleased our volunteers have had the chance to have a bit of a break."
During the summer's horror bushfire season, the region's fire fighters worked around the clock battling blazes in places like Moonbi, Tenterfield and Hanging Rock.
"It was a pretty testing summer at times, there's no doubt about that," Superintendent Purkiss said.
"However, our guys did a fantastic job and really did themselves proud.
"The lockdown has certainly been tough for a lot of people, but it has worked out fairly well for us in a sense.
"They were extremely busy over the past 12 months, so I'm really glad they got a break."
Superintendent Purkiss said the region's recent wet weather could prompt another tough bushfire season for local crews.
"I think it's really important the guys got a break because if the grass keeps up like it is, it will be a bit of a concern for us," he said.
"It's a concern for us because we will be heading into a tough grassfire season this year.
"We will just have to wait and see because if we get the rain everyone's predicting we are going to get, we might be right.
"In saying that, the grass is there now so it is a bit concerning."
Superintendent Purkiss said the time was right for locals to "get fire ready".
"We really are calling on all landholders to get their properties ready and to be fair most are really on top of it," he said.
"One of our big focuses is on unattended properties and hobby farms that may not have stock helping to eat down feed and potential ground fuel.
"Those landholders need to be aware of their responsibilities because, as we always say, if it's your land it's your fuel."