BILLOWING smoke around the greyhound race track and BMX bike track in Taree on Saturday had some people concerned about its close proximity to houses.
However the blaze had not been started by a fire bug but rather was a controlled, planned burn by Fire and Rescue NSW on behalf of Greater Taree City Council.
The burn was necessary to reduce the threat of bushfire within bushland near housing.
It began at 9am on Saturday morning and was expected to last about 36 hours, with crews from Taree Fire Station assisting.
Bushfire fuel reduction is important to protect life and property in the community, as well as native flora, faune and the enviornment from the extreme effects of summer bushfires.
With this summer expected to be one of the hottest and dryest on record, station commander at Taree, Shane Austin and his team have been busily preparing for the season ahead and are hoping to expand their crew members over the coming months.
"It's a great team and there's extensive training provided to ensure safety and knowledge around fires," Shane explained.
Anyone who might be interested in joining this great community organisation should contact Taree Fire Station on 6551 5246.