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Victoria's fire season officially ends

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As fire restrictions finish in the final parts of Victoria today, CFA has urged residents across the state to exercise extreme caution when burning off.

Victoria's fire season officially ends

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the Fire Danger Period came to an end across all parts of Victoria at 1.00am this morning.

“Parts of CFA’s District 2, 4 and 17, including the Greater Bendigo, Glenelg, Horsham and West Wimmera municipalities, were the last areas to lift Fire Danger Period restrictions,” said CO Heffernan.

“It marks the official end to a much milder bushfire season than the unprecedented fire season that ravaged East Gippsland and North Victoria in 2019/20.”

CO Heffernan reminded Victorians that while the Fire Danger Period is now over, it is still important that residents check local conditions on the day of any burn-off they are considering undertaking.

“Fires can get out of control within minutes in dry and windy conditions, and the effects can be devastating – we want everyone to exercise extreme caution,” he said.

“While light winds can help to disperse smoke, burn-offs should not be conducted if the wind speed is more than 10kph. This can be observed when twigs and leaves are in constant motion.”

During the first week of April there were more than 6000 private landowner burn-offs registered, some of which had been registered with an open date meaning the landowner will conduct the burn over more than one day or when conditions are suitable.

As well as the burning of backyard heaps and outer urban small burn-offs, there are also widespread agricultural burn-offs occurring across most of the state.

CO Heffernan said it is important to register all burn-offs so Triple Zero (000) operators know what is happening in the area.

Landowners can register their burn-off by using the Fire Permits Victoria website (firepermits.vic.gov.au), or notifying the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov.au.

“We ask that landowners register burn-offs to help reduce the risk of CFA brigades being called out unnecessarily if a member of the public calls about smoke or a fire in the area,” CO Heffernan said.

He added that people should 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 does get out of control, call ‘000’ immediately. People should have a fire plan and prepare for the event of fire, and never be complacent.”

Keep your burn off safe and legal:

  • Check fire restrictions in your area and always register your burn at www.firepermits.vic.gov.au.
  • 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.