ONE MILLION homes across New South Wales have today been identified as being at risk during the upcoming volatile bushfire season which officially begins tomorrow.
Authorities are on high alert, with this year’s conditions expected to be even worse than those experience in the catastrophic 2013-14 season.
There’s already been more than 1400 fires across the state since August 1, including a blaze that destroyed five homes at Kempsey.
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Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres told the AAP people needed to be prepared for the threat.
“Lots and lots of people will be susceptible to that risk,” he said. “In fact, over one million properties around NSW will be at risk of fire throughout the course of this season.”
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said research released today revealed one-in-four people living near the 2013 fires in the Blue Mountains, Port Stephens and Southern Highlands had no plan for what to do in a bushfire.
And of the 73 per cent who did have one, only one-in-10 had written it down.
The state government has also introduced tougher penalties and higher fines for unauthorised burn-offs and discarding lit cigarettes.
PICTURE: Matthew Howard