Mildura Weekly : Friday December 19 Vol 9 No 7 2014
14 MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014 IN a nutshell, the Fire Danger Period is when Country Fire Authority restricts the use of fire in the community. The aim, in simple terms, is to help prevent fires from starting. CFA declares the Fire Dan- ger Period for each municipal- ity – shire or council area – at different times in the lead up to the fire season. When it is applied depends on the amount of rain, grassland cur- ing rate and other local condi- tions. The Fire Danger Period may be declared as early as October in some municipali- ties, and typically remains in place until the fire danger less- ens, which could be as late as May. For the Mildura Rural City Council area, the FDP came into force on October 27, and will remain in place until May 1, 2015. The Fire Danger Period is NOT the same thing as a Total Fire Ban. Burning off grass, stub- ble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is generally permitted outside the Fire Danger Period, but local laws on burn-offs can apply year-round. Check with your local council before lighting up. Before burning off: • Check and follow local regulations or laws set down by CFA or your local council • Notify neighbours at least two hours before start- ing the burn • Notify the Emergency Services Telecommunica- tions Authority (ESTA) on 1800 668 511 • Check the weather fore- cast for the day of the burn and a few days afterwards • Check the fuel mois- ture conditions • Establish a fire break of no less than three metres cleared of all flammable ma- terial • Make sure there are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn safely and effectively. All burn-offs should be registered with ESTA on 1800 668 511. Please provide the follow- ing information about your burn-off when registering: • Location • Date and expected start and finish times • Estimated size • What you intend to burn Unregistered burn-offs can cause brigades to be called out unnecessarily. However, once the Fire Danger Period has been de- clared, fire restrictions come into force. This means you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a permit or comply with certain re- quirements. If you don’t ob- tain a permit, you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted. However, burning off grass, stubble, weeds, under- growth or other vegetation during the Fire Danger Period is permitted under the follow- ing conditions: • You have a written per- mit issued by a Fire Preven- tion Officer of a public au- thority, the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer or by the CFA District office, • You comply with the conditions of that permit, • A person is in atten- dance at all times while the fire is alight and has the ca- pacity and means to extin- guish the fire, and • The fire is completely ex- tinguished before the person leaves. Many councils ban burn- ing off on certain days, within certain locations or at certain times within their municipali- ties. In the case of Mildura Ru- ral City Council the number to ring for more information on these issues is the munici- pality’s main desk on 5018 8100. You may also have heard of Schedule 14 permits. These are for purposes not covered by Schedule 13 during the Fire Danger Period. For exam- ple, burning deceased stock or operating machinery. CFA regional offices usually is- sue Schedule 14 permits but check with your local council first – arrangements are differ- ent in each area. Local municipalities (may have their own local laws in relation to lighting fires. Con- tact your local council to find out what local laws may be in place. Note that the local laws may be in place 12 months of the year, and not just during the FDP. Total Fire Bans are differ- ent to the Fire Danger Period. A Total Fire Ban Day can be declared at any time through- out the year. No fires are to be lit in the open air on Total Fire Ban Days without a spe- cial permit. The Fire Danger Period and you LEAVE AND LIVE. Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Tr easury Place, Melbourne LEAVE AND LIVE. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. LEAVE EARLY. Check Fire Danger Ratings and warnings regularly. visit emergency.vic.gov.au call 1800 240 667 download the FireReady app BUSHFIRE DEATHS FOUR OUT OF FIVE HAPPEN CLOSE TO HOME.
Friday December 12 Vol 9 No 6
Friday January 2 Vol 9 No 8 2015