THE National Fire Authority is urging members of the public to refrain from starting bush and rubbish fires.
The NFA advice follows the publication of figures which show the authority attended to 56 bush and rubbish fires in the month of January alone.
"These bush and rubbish fires start when members of the community carelessly burn their rubbish and leave it unattended causing the fire to spread to nearby bushes and farms," said NFA chief executive John O'Connor.
He said such acts put the general public, the environment and neighbouring areas at risk.
"Furthermore, attending to such bush and rubbish fires result in unnecessary expenditure for NFA which compromises the activity and capability of NFA to respond to property fires," he said.