By Michael Doran
Despite summer coming to a close, the CFA wants to make sure the public remain aware that fire restrictions have not yet been lifted.
CFA District 13 Acting Operations Manager Tim Holland said there a number of large fires continuing to burn across the state, with some smaller fires keeping firefighters on fire grounds for weeks.
“Although we have experienced some cooler days during the beginning of March, this has not been accompanied by any meaningful rainfall and the landscape is still exceptionally dry,” he said. “Under these conditions, the lighting of fires in the open places the community at considerable risk.”
The restrictions mean that no fires can be lit in the open air without a written permit from the CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer. The CFA says that conducting burn offs without a permit puts lives and property at risk and places a drain on stretched CFA volunteer resources.
Lighting a fire in the open air without a permit is an offence, and can bring a penalty of over $19,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment. Permits will only be considered for specific purposes and applications that don’t fit a specific purpose will not be granted.
Once a permit is issued there is still a requirement to register the planned burn with the Burn-Off Notification Line on 1800 668 511.
Campfires can be a lethal hazard and in recent weeks fire authorities, as well as battling major bushfires, have also responded to a number of unattended campfires. It is always important to make sure a campfire is completely extinguished with water before leaving and ‘if it’s cool to touch, it’s safe to leave’ the CFA advise.
Campfires are not allowed on days of Total Fire Ban and specific advice on fire restrictions can be found at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can This information is also accessible via the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or through your local CFA District office or Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.