A promising harvest has begun with devastating machinery loss for some in our region, and the Rural Fire Service is urging people to take extra precautions with the risk of fire this year.
RFS Mid Lachlan Valley says there have been six fires in our area involving harvesting operations in the past week.
NSW RFS Superintendent Ken Neville urged farm workers to be cautious and take proper precautions when using vehicles in vegetated areas.
"Dry grass and vegetation can smolder or catch alight when in contact with the exhaust system of a vehicle or machine," Supt Neville said.
"Vehicles and machines should be checked at regular intervals throughout the day and a water source or fire extinguisher should be carried to suppress any fire outbreaks.
"It is also important that farm workers regularly take the time to clear grass and vegetation from machines and vehicles to reduce the chance of these fuels getting caught in the drive train or around the guards and mufflers.
"All machinery and vehicles must have an effective spark arrester fitted to the exhaust system to prevent fires.
"We recommend the drive train should be cleaned every two-to-three hours on days of increased fire danger."
So far all fires have been contained and loss of crop has been limited with quick response from local brigades, but the RFS warns that as grasses continue to cure and the weather gets warmer any fires that do start will become harder to control.
"NSW RFS officers are available to provide advice on how to best protect a property during the upcoming fire season," Supt Neville said.