RESIDENTS of fire-prone land have said the threat of raging bushfires last Tuesday took them by surprise.
The rural streets of Riverstone, Rouse Hill and Marsden Park were on high alert earlier in the week as fires destroyed homes and bushland.
John Phillips' property on Robert Street, Riverstone West is surrounded by bush.
"It's bone dry out here," he said.
"We were pretty worried the other day. I rushed home, mainly because my missus was home, but also to protect the house."
Mr Phillips said the threat of bushfires was not something he often worried about.
He was now concerned that no hazard reduction burning had been done in the area for years.
"We're forgotten people out here," he said.
Mr Phillips said he had no idea whether his home insurance covered bushfires.
A neighbour was also concerned he might not be covered.
John, who did not want to disclose his surname, said he had never worried about fire insurance.
But he too would like to see more hazard-reduction burning.
"There hasn't been any backburning here," he said.
"I know they've got a lot to do but [the dry fuel] is starting to get pretty thick through here now."
A Rural Fire Service spokesman said residents could report areas of bushland they thought needed reduction burning.
Insurance for bushfires was a standard part of policies underwritten by most insurers contacted by the Sun.