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Victorians rush to burn off
CFA is once again urging Victorians to register burn-offs and take extreme care when they do burn off. On Saturday, CFA and MFB phone lines received near unprecedented burn-off notifications showing that Victorians are preparing for the summer fire threat.
CFA State Duty Officer Peter Lucas said that it was pleasing to see residents cleaning up their properties before the start of fire restrictions in many municipalities. He also commended Victorians for registering their burn-offs.
“It’s encouraging to see people registering their burn-offs. All calls to Triple Zero about smoke sightings are cross-checked with that register, and firefighters are called out if nothing is listed for that location.
“False alarm calls to unregistered burn-offs take volunteer firefighters away from workplaces, families and other emergencies,” Peter added.
He also stressed the need for common-sense planning before burning off.
“Each year we turn out to private burn-offs that have got out of control due to pretty basic mistakes. Things like not having enough water on hand to put out a fire and leaving the fire unattended – or not recognising that the weather has changed, especially wind strength.
“It doesn’t take much wind to carry embers into your neighbour’s property or bush land. Things can get out of control pretty quickly after that.
“The penalties are severe if the burn-off escapes, and that’s not counting the impact of uncontrolled fire within the landscape,” Peter reiterated.
Private burn-offs – the basic facts
Property owners must be aware they have legal obligations when burning off and failing to comply with local council by-laws may lead to a fine.
- Check regulations set down by your local council
- Register your burn by phoning 1800 668 511
- Notify neighbours at least two hours before starting the burn
- Check the weather forecast for the day of the burn and the days afterwards and monitor the weather while conducting the burn-off
- Establish a fire break of no less than three metres cleared of all flammable material
- Make sure there are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn safely
- Have access to sufficient water to extinguish the fire at all times when the fire is burning
- Go to CFA’s Can I Can’t I page. It summarises fire restrictions for Total Fire Ban days and during the Fire Danger Period.