Rural workers and land owners are being warned to be prepared as the bushfire danger period officially comes into play across the Riverina on Wednesday.
Wagga Rural Fire Service (RFS) operational officer Bradley Stewart said among the top concerns as of recent weeks is the level of haystack fires.
"What we are seeing as of late is that there has been a significant amount of fodder cut for hay and there have been a number of haystack fires across the wider area in recent weeks and some of those losses are well in excess of $1 million," he said.
"We cannot encourage people enough to go back regularly and check their hay stacks in order to ensure they are not heating up to the point where they will spontaneously combust."
It is within the rural sector where the concerns mostly lie, with vehicles and machinery also common starters for fires.
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"We cannot strongly encourage people enough to make sure if they work in the rural sector they need to have fire protection systems on board any motor vehicle that is driven off the road," Mr Stewart said.
"They're legally required to have a fire extinguisher of some type or a knapsack filled with water so if they do start a fire they can extinguish it.
"The other thing we are encouraging is fire breaks have a significantly important resource to protecting people's assets and infrastructure.
"They don't always stop fires but they certainly hinder their movement throughout the environment and they can give us a valuable opportunity for us to stop fires from moving."
RFS crews have been conducting a series of hazardous burns at areas of concern like the Kapooka military area range to prepare for the fire season.
Mr Stewart said it is unmanaged areas with high grass levels that pose the biggest threat.
"We're currently driving around looking at areas of concern," he said.
"We have what is called the Interface Project where we look at where the country meets the town and areas of the most concern are areas that are unmanaged, grassy rural blocks or land that's currently undergoing development or land that's been purchased but hasn't been developed and their not actively managing the grass growth.
"What we are doing is called an Interface Inspection Program and we are issuing instructions to the land owners of blocks we identify as being hazardous to undertake slashing and mitigation activities to prevent the risk of fire at those locations."
The bushfire danger period runs ahead of, and throughout summer as hotter weather looms.
During this time there is an elevated risk in people using high levels of fire to undergo activities such as burning off.
"Anyone wishing to burn off in the open for the purposes of burning off, say, timber or dry grass requires a fire permit, however, we have made the decision not to issue fire permits until after the harvest has been completed," Mr Stewart said.
"The big ticket item within the bushfire danger period is that people are required to retain a fire permit for large-scale fire activity - it gives us the capacity to know who is using fire, where that fire is being used when that fire is occurring and it also gives us the legislative power to stipulate what level of protective measures are put in place."
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