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Burn-offs alert and warning

  | CFA News Views: 1212

CFA is urging residents to take extreme care when burning off after responding to out-of-control private burn-offs across areas of the state even though the fire restrictions are over.

Burn-offs alert and warning

Photo credit: Woorinen South

Members have responded to a spate of unregistered fires taking up hundreds of volunteers’ hours unnecessarily.

We encourage residents to take advantage of the window of opportunity to clean up their properties, but the effects of an out-of-control fire can be devastating.

In this week’s dry and windy conditions, we’ve seen quite a few burn-offs flare up a couple of days after the burn-off, which highlights the importance of making sure your burn-off is fully extinguished. We’d urge anyone who has burnt off in the past few days to double check that it has been fully extinguished.

It is vital people do the right thing by checking conditions, complying with local by-laws and registering their burn-offs. A two-minute call is all it takes to register the burn.

“It is absolutely essential that you have enough water on hand to put out a fire," SDO Lachlan Redman said. "There isn’t enough time to run back to your house if your fire gets out of control. You should construct a fire break, free of flammable, materials around any burn-off."

Property owners have legal obligations when burning off. Failing to comply with local council by-laws and state legislation can lead to a fine.

Landowners can now register their burn-off online at www.firepermits.vic.gov.au.

Alternatively, you can register with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov.au

“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,” he said.

“False alarm calls to unregistered burn-offs take volunteer firefighters away from workplaces, families and other emergencies.”

Keep your burn-off safe and legal:

  • Check fire restrictions with your local council and register your burn on 1800 668 511
  • Check and monitor weather conditions – particularly wind
  • To avoid unnecessary calls to emergency services, notify your neighbours beforehand
  • Leave a three metre fire break, free from flammable materials around the burn
  • Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading
  • Never leave a burn-off unattended – stay for its entire duration
  • If your burn-off gets out of control, call ‘000’ immediately

For more information about burning off, go to cfa.vic.gov.au/burnoff