The Rural Fire Service is warning Illawarra residents not to get complacent with a cooler summer on the way, after Monday's fire danger rating was at Very High.
RFS Illawarra district manager Superintendent Greg Wardle said the region was spared disaster during the scorching months of last summer, but it meant the ground was filled with tinder.
"We still have a concern with fuel loads around and lightning strikes and anything that may take hold and run out of the catchment areas," he said. "Complacency is my biggest concern across the area."
Supt Wardle said Helensburgh, Otford, Stanwell Park and Stanwell Tops were areas of concern because of how much bushland meets suburbia.
He said this is where they have been concentrating efforts in the lead-up to summer with increased hazard reduction burns.
However, large grassland areas such as around Jamberoo could cause concern in early 2021 with increased growth and less livestock to eat it after many farmers have "destocked".
Supt Wardle said the key factors to increase fire risk were low humidity, warm days and strong winds.
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