VOLUNTEER firefighters in Orange, Cowra, Blayney and Canowindra are being urged to be be "smart with water use" and to consider "dry firefighting strategies" due to the ongoing drought.
Currently 100 per cent of the Central West is drought affected, while in the Central Tablelands the figure is 98.5 per cent.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) issued a statewide alert to all of its members on Tuesday afternoon which said the drought had had an impact on the ability to fight fires.
"Brigades are being encouraged to be smart with water use and consider different firefighting strategies if required," the alert stated.
"[With] water restrictions in force in many areas across the state, it's important that brigades adhere to restrictions and limit the use of town or drinking water for non-essential activities.
"Where appropriate, consideration should be given for alternate tactics including dry firefighting strategies and heavy plant engagement."
Dry firefighting will mean a heavier reliance on creating fire breaks ahead of the fire.NSW Rural Fire Service Canobolas zone operational officer Brett Bowden
In the RFS Canobolas Zone, operational officer Brett Bowden said the drought and water availability in rural and remote rural areas was a concern.
"Dry firefighting will mean a heavier reliance on creating fire breaks ahead of the fire," he said.
"There will be less direct firefighting [by using water]."
Mr Bowden said back burns may be conducted more often in coming months.
"The use of aircraft, particularly where there are water bores such as Cowra and Orange airports, will be vital," he said.
The Canobolas zone also has a number of bulk water tankers on hand, each carrying 10,000 litres of water, which can be deployed to support fire trucks at a blaze.
A heavy plant equipment registry has been established so that dozers or graders can be sent out to create fire breaks.
Mr Bowden urged people in rural areas to reduce fuel levels around their assets now.
"Ensure the assets they have are prepared for protection in the event of a bushfire," he said.
"If you have water, make sure you have access to it for firefighting use and start to make some decision about what type of fire that water will be used for."
Bushfire danger period in the Canobolas zone runs from October 1 until March 31.
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