Smell smoke? 10,000ha of stubble have been burned off and more expected

A stubble burn in the Lachlan Shire, photo by Cameron Bird, Rural Fire Service.

A stubble burn in the Lachlan Shire, photo by Cameron Bird, Rural Fire Service.

Smell smoke?

Recent mild conditions, after a summer of outstanding vegetation growth, have seen numerous landholders seeking permits to burn off areas of land.

RFS Mid Lachlan Valley Team District Officer Cameron Bird says about 10,000 hectares of stubble has already been burned off across the district and that's expected to increase.

There shouldn't be any cause for concern, but there's a number of things the RFS is asking both landholders and other community members to remember.

Landholders planning to burn off are asked to remember that all fires in the open (excluding campfires) require a permit.

You're asked to ensure you have sufficient firebreaks and suitable firefighting capability for your planned burn.

When you receive your permit please send it to or phone the Forbes office on 68 511 541 to arrange to send it another way.

You need to notify the Rural Fire Service and your neighbours at least 24 hours before lighting the fire. You can notify the RFS online at

The RFS is available to assist with burning or answer your questions.

Community members who notice smoke in the area are asked to phone 000 for unattended or escaped fires, rather than those that are within a paddock with someone on patrol.

"If you want to know information about a fire please call our Forbes office on 68511 541, we can tell you if there's a permit to burn in the area," Mr Bird said.

"This will help keep the emergency system available for emergencies."

Volunteer crews have also responded to no less than six machinery fires across the district, which includes the Parkes, Forbes, Lachlan and Weddin shires, in the past week.

These include tractors, headers and other vehicles driving in paddocks, and unfortunately the RFS has noticed a common cause.

"Vegetation from the paddock is building up around heated parts of the vehicle causing it to catch fire," Mr Bird said.

"The RFS would like to remind anyone driving in paddocks across our area to regularly check and clean your vehicle and ensure that fire safety equipment - for example a fire extinguisher or water - is carried on every vehicle."