Indicators of an above average fire season have led to the Country Fire Authority announcing the Fire Danger Period will begin in the Moira Shire area on November 20.
The Fire Danger Period for Moira, and the Shire of Strathbogie and City of Greater Shepparton, will officially begin at 1am on Monday, November 20 according to CFA District 22 Operations Manager Tony Owen.
As the Fire Danger Period begins to phase in across the state over the coming weeks, the warmer and drier than average weather over recent months, teamed with recent rainfall causing growth in pasture and roadsides means residents need to be prepared for the imminent fire season.
“Reducing fuel loads will ensure that if a fire does occur, it has less chance of taking hold or spreading,” Mr Owen said.
“While CFA does all it can, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.”
Mr Owen said there was still a small window of opportunity to clean up your property if you hadn’t already done so.
“Out of control burn-offs and unregistered burn-offs are a major and avoidable headache for brigades,” he said.
“Avoid burning off when high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards.
“For information about burn-off restrictions specific to your area consult your local council.”
CFA takes a zero-tolerance approach to any unauthorised fires or fires resulting from negligent behaviour subject to police investigation.
“Even if you have a permit to use fire over the Fire Danger Period, make sure you read the conditions carefully,” Mr Owen said.
“Failing to follow just one of those conditions may leave you open to prosecution.”
During the Fire Danger Period (FDP) fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.
Fire Danger Periods are based on local conditions and take into account fuel moisture, fuel loads, grassland curing, weather and rainfall.
Victorians can find out “Can I or Can’t I?” information at cfa.vic.gov.au/can or by calling VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.
All burn-offs should be registered with the VicFire Burn-off notification line on 1800 668 511.
Fire Danger Period information:
A written permit is required to burn off grass, undergrowth, weeds or other vegetation during the FDP. This permit may be issued by the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer or the CFA District Office. Please check with your municipality in the first instance.
Lighting a fire in the open without a permit is an offence and can bring a penalty of over $21,600 and/or 12 months imprisonment. Barbeques and fires for cooking and warmth do not require a permit, but must be lit in properly constructed fireplaces (to view complete conditions visit cfa.vic.gov.au/can
The use of an incinerator, chainsaw/lawn mower, welding/grinding equipment and vehicles that come in contact with vegetation and machinery with an internal combustion/heat engine are permitted provided conditions are followed.
Farmers can find legal guidelines and practical advice at cfa.vic.gov.au/farming – this information is important especially for new farmers, bush block owners or hobby farmers.
A Total Fire Ban declaration means no fires can be lit for the declared district for that day unless there is a specific exemption or special permit issued. This applies irrespective of the Fire Restriction status for a given municipality. Further details at cfa.vic.gov.au/can