THE region is bracing itself for a long dry summer, after the experts revised their predictions for future weather patterns.
An El Nino weather pattern, which will see warmer, drier conditions around the region, is now three times more likely to occur according the the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
However, the forecast does not have local Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews worried.
RFS operations officer Mark Denton said local crews were prepared for the upcoming fire season.
“Nothing has changed for us in regards to being prepared for any potential El Nino weather system,” Mr Denton said.
“The rain we have had recently will soon dry out and any sub-soil moisture will soon be gone.
“So to us this fire season is shaping up to still be quite long and dry.”
Farmers from across the region have applied for fire permits in their droves to prepare for the upcoming fire season.
“We have had probably more applications for burn off permits than we have had in a long time,” Mr Denton said.
“I think that shows that, particularly farmers, are aware of the fire danger and are being proactive about limiting the risks.
“As well as that, included in the new permit applications is a clause that allows us to know when the planned burns are happening, so there is no chance we will be caught off guard.
“It is a new thing, but so far it has worked really well and helps us know what is an unattended fire and what isn’t.”
Mr Denton said RFS crews were also prepared for storm season, after an NRMA report revealed the Northern Tablelands was the fourth most storm affected region in the state.
“To be honest that doesn’t surprise me,” he said.
“We watch any storm activity really closely and are prepared if anything does happen.
“As well as that, we do work alongside the SES who are always right on top of any potential storm dangers.”