Fire season set to start
WITH a dryer and warmer summer ahead, the CFA’s declared fire danger period for the City of Greater Bendigo is set to commence later this month.
The region’s fire danger period will start from 1am on Monday 20 November, meaning the community summer fire rules apply and people should prepare properties in case of emergencies.
CFA District 2 acting assistant chief fire officer Darren Eenjes encouraged everyone to take utmost care around fire.
“Always remember that if you’re the person who lights the fire, regardless of what it is, then you are the person responsible until it is fully extinguished,” he said.
Bendigo’s fire danger period will be preceded by Central Goldfields Shire and Mount Alexander Shire communities on Monday 13 November.
Two weeks later Macedon Ranges Shire will begin its fire danger period on Monday 27 November.
CFA representatives are also urging everyone to take care with any private burn offs leading into the fire danger period.
When conducting burn offs, people are encouraged to notify their neighbours, check if weather, including wind levels the following days, is suitable, and make sure the fire is put out properly.
Community engagement coordinator for CFA Northwest region Paul Tangey said it was common for them to see burn offs get out of control.
“The recommendations are that you have an adequate supply of water,” he said.
Mr Tangey suggested ensuring that hoses are connected, and water vessels can be easily accessed to extinguish fires prior to burning off.
“When we say ‘extinguished’, we mean cool to touch, not just ‘oh throw a bit of water on it and it’ll be right.’
“Over the years we’ve seen situations where fires have been started because it’s been smouldering underneath.
“It just takes that little bit of wind and right or ‘wrong’ conditions to start that fire again.”
Mr Tangey said it was good fire safety practice that lawns be kept at around 10 centimetres, gutters should be cleared of leaves, and rubbish around properties should be cleaned up.
Another tip from the CFA is to check with the municipality prior to burning off what their regulations are.
“Every council across Victoria has different sets of by-laws and that determines what people are allowed to do,” he said.
Burn offs can be registered online via the Fire Permits Victoria website, by calling the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority on 1800 668 511, or by submitting a notification form to [email protected].
Once the fire danger period is in effect, no open-air burn offs can be conducted, with fines and charges to apply.
Alternatives to burning off around properties including slashing and mulching vegetation, utilising green waste and getting rid of potentially hazardous fuel sources.
For more information, visit cfa.vic.gov.au or call VicEmergency on 1800 226 226.
– WITH ALICIA S. COOK