CFA crews were kept busy over the past weekend following a spate of private burn offs that had been left unattended.
Acting Chief Officer Gavin Freeman described the behaviour as reckless.
“Despite the end of the Fire Danger Period landowners still need to exercise a high degree of caution when conducting burn offs. The calls outs of the past weekend have been a waste of CFA’s time and resources.”
“Last weekend, CFA crews responded to a ridiculous number of burn offs that were left by careless landowners which meant our crews lost time with their families and their jobs fixing their mistakes.”
It is not difficult to conduct a burn off safely and legally Chief Officer Freeman said.
“It is important to only burn off when the conditions are right and to check the weather forecast for the day of the burn and for a few days afterwards,” he said.
“You should refrain from burning off on days when hot and windy conditions are forecast.
“It is essential to ensure there are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn safely and effectively.
“Never leave a burn-off unattended as it’s the resident’s responsibility to ensure that it does not get out of control.
“If a burn off gets out of control, call ‘000’ immediately. People should have a fire plan and prepare for the event of fire, and remember never to be complacent.
“Escaped burn offs or those not conducted properly carry penalties under law.”
It is also important to check with your local council before lighting up, local laws on burn offs can apply year-round.
Residents must register all burn offs with ESTA on 1800 668 511.
For more information about burning off, check: www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/burning-off/