Scenic Hill fire sparks warning

A SUSPICIOUS blaze that threatened Scenic Hill last week has sparked fire authorities to issue a warning to residents ahead of next month's bushfire season.

Rural Fire Service crews rushed to the fire in a patch of bush behind Collina on Wednesday to find a patch of scrub alight, as well as a number of trees.

RFS zone manager Kevin Adams believed somebody had been in the area during the day and may have lit a number of camp fires, one of which had got out of control.

The exact cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated by police.

"A couple of trees caught alight and had to be cut down because they were near a walking track and it would have been unsafe to leave them there," Superintendent Adams said.

"This is an early warning to people about what could happen.

"There is fuel around and it is beginning to dry out so people need to start preparing."

RFS crews were called to Widgelli last week where a discarded cigarette butt had ignited a grassfire.

"Obviously someone has smoked a cigarette but hasn't put it out properly because the origin of the fire was traced back to the cigarette butt," Superintendent Adams said.

"Fires like this are an inconvenience for our volunteers and had it been dry, it really could have got away on us."

After a warm start to spring and the concerning ferocity of fires around Sydney last week, he said now was the time for people to start planning and preparing their properties for the fire season, which begins on October 1.

"There is a reasonable fuel load around and we are expecting more rain so anything green will grow more," he said.

Locals have been urged to complete a Bushfire Survival Plan, available online or from the RFS centre on Wakaden Street.


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