For the first time in a number of years the Mid-Western Region local government area won't need to commence the Bush Fire Danger Period a month early, due to cooler temperatures and recent rainfall.
Favourable conditions also saw the last season finish at the end of March with no need for an extension, thanks to a remarkable turnaround from a summer when hundreds of thousands of hectares burned.
The statutory Bush Fire Danger Period in NSW commences on October 1 each year, but is adjusted based on local conditions.
And for some time now, the Cudgegong Rural Fire Service District - which covers the Mid-Western Regional LGA - has begun in September.
"For the five years I've been here we've had to go early and this will be the first year that will be going ahead as normal on October 1," Cudgegong District Superintendent Troy Porter said.
"With the rainfall we've had and the green growth has put a fair dent in the drought and we're certainly in a better place this year than at the same time last year.
"But that's not to say down the track we might have a few issues at times."
On Friday, the Mudgee Airport weather station had received more than 550mm of rain since the beginning of the year, compared to the January to September average of 471.8mm.
Landholders can continue to conduct burns on their properties until the end of September, after which anyone wishing to light a fire during the Bush Fire Danger Period must obtain a permit from the local fire authority.
And those looking to burn need to provide the Fire Control Centre and neighbours with 24 hours notice, by notifying online at rfs.nsw.gov.au/notify or by phoning (02) 6372 4434 during business hours.
Twenty-seven local government areas commenced the danger period on Tuesday and although the Mid-Western Region wasn't among them Supt Porter that's not cause for complacency.
"People would still have in mind what happened last season," he said.
A time to prepare
The NSW Rural Fire Service's Get Ready Weekend is slated for September 19-20.
The annual event is an opportunity to engage with your local brigade, find out about the bush fire risk in your area and to plan and prepare for the coming bush fire season.
However, as with everything in 2020, COVID has had an effect and some stations are taking their events online.
Supt Porter said the local brigades are still planning, but overall it'll be "at a reduced capacity this year".
Nevertheless, the NSW RFS provides resources to help residents to get the jump on preparing themselves, their families and homes - including the all-important MyFirePlan.
"Preparation now can pay big dividends later on in the year," Supt Porter said.
- More information on local Get Ready Weekend events to come and check out the NSW RFS Get Ready page here.