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Take care with machinery
Farming machinery has been linked to a number of fires across the state and CFA is urging landholders to be extra vigilant as Gippsland continues to dry.
While it’s never too late to clean up your property, CFA Gippsland Regional Director Mark Potter has asked that people use their common sense.
“CFA firefighters were called out to 19 fires across Gippsland last season that were started by farming machinery. Almost all of these could have been prevented if people took more care,” Mr Potter said.
“While we fully support landowners using machinery to reduce the fire risk around their home and community, they need to do it safely or risk starting fires which could risk lives and property. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure they don’t start a fire."
“People can continue slashing, mowing, grazing and spraying grass but they need to monitor the local conditions and of course make sure it’s not a day of Total Fire Ban.”
Mr Potter added that, while CFA understands that important works are undertaken on farms across the region at this time of the year, it only takes a slasher to hit one rock for a fire to start in dry grass. Farmers need to be aware of their local conditions and be extra vigilant when using any machinery that could start fires.
“CFA looks to the community to do the right thing by their family and neighbours and follow the
fire restrictions that are in place throughout the Fire Danger Period. They’re in place for a reason – to prevent fires from starting,” Mr Potter said.
- Make sure tractors and machinery are checked and cleaned before starting work and repeat this every hour
- Postpone unnecessary or non-essential work
- Make sure they have firefighting equipment on hand and extinguishers fitted to tractors
- Regularly check for fires and build-up of flammable materials in machinery
- Check for straw of grass build up while harvesting
- When carting hay, have a fire-resistant shield behind the exhaust
- Double check all spark arrestors
- Avoid driving motorbikes through long, dry grass
- Leave the angle grinder in the cupboard on bad days.
Farmers, contractors and landholders can find fire safety advice and guidelines at cfa.vic.gov.au/farming or call 1800 240 667 to request a free copy of CFA’s ‘On the Land’ booklet.
For more information about what you can and can't do during declared Fire Danger Periods, and on days of Total Fire Ban, visit: www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can.