The third wettest winter on record has increased the risk of fast-moving and dangerous grass fires in summer.
Heavy rainfall across the state, including the wettest September on record, has resulted in significant vegetation growth, particularly in western NSW.
When this growth starts to dry, there is the potential for more fuel and therefore an increased risk of grass fires.
NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said grass fires start and spread quickly, often moving three times faster than a bushfire, and can catch people off-guard.
“Everybody needs to know what they will do if faced with this type of emergency,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“With a forecast of drier and warmer conditions than normal, it does not matter whether you live close to grass paddocks or to a bushfire-prone area, you need to prepare for this fire season."
Embers can travel across several properties and streets, even up to 30km in the worst conditions.
Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott warned hotter and drier conditions expected across the state would make this an extremely challenging summer season.
“The Air-Crane ‘Delilah’, the C130 ‘Thor’ the DC10 ‘Southern Belle’ and the NSW RFS fleet of more than 100 aircraft are tremendous assets in supporting firefighting efforts, but the real heroes are our volunteers on the ground,” Mr Elliott said.