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Illegal roadside burns a hazard
With more than a dozen cases of property owners burning roadsides outside their property boundary over the past month, CFA is warning residents in the Towong, Wodonga and Indigo municipalities the activity is not only illegal, it’s dangerous.
CFA District 24 Operations Manager Paul King said he was concerned about the number of residents who were either purposefully burning roadside verges to reduce fuel, or allowing burn offs within their property boundaries to escape.
“Roadside burns can pose significant danger to drivers from smoke, flames or falling burning trees or branches, and there is high potential for tragic consequences,” he said.
“A landowner lit a fire a couple of weeks ago close to the Wodonga-Beechworth road at an extremely busy time for traffic. Smoke blanketed the road in no time and it was fortunate for both road users and the landowner that the brigade was able to suppress the fire as quickly as they did.
“We are asking landowners to consider the very real risk of prosecution.
“We’re also asking them to be considerate of not only road users and neighbours but local volunteers who all too often are tied up attending reckless burnoffs or unregistered burn offs that end up being false alarms.”
Roadside verges are owned and managed by either VicRoads or local government, who may undertake fuel reduction such as burning or slashing with the support of fire agencies.
Expertly-conducted burns take into account several factors such as traffic management, weather, protected species and firefighting resources.
- All burnoffs should be registered in advance with VicFire on 1800 668 511.
- Property owners concerned about fuel levels on roadsides can contact VicRoads, their local council or their local brigade.