The Fire Danger Period will begin at 01.00am on Monday, 8 February 2021 for the following municipalities in District 13 in CFA’s North East Region:
These are the final municipalities in the state to enter the Fire Danger Period.
The latest fire season outlook for Victoria suggests 2020/2021 is expected to continue to be more of a grassfire-dominated season due to significant grass growth across the state.
This is largely caused by average to above-average rainfall during spring and early summer, combined with an outlook of above-average rainfall for much of Victoria from February to April.
Considering the outlook and current conditions, the fire season continues to have the potential to be a grassfire-dominated season, with shorter-duration fires in grass and dry forests during hotter and windier days.
Some Victorian forests may remain damp enough to experience average to below-average fire activity.
CFA reminds Victorians not to be complacent as an average fire season in this state can still be a bad one.
CFA District 13 Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer (A/ACFO) Colin Brown said while the grassland areas in District 13 are still green, private and public forested areas are quite dry.
“This growth will become a high fuel load throughout the summer season if not properly managed,” he said.
“The recent run of hot days has begun significantly drying the bush and curing the grassland. The fire potential is only going to increase with the warmer weather over the next three months.
“Reducing fuel loads will ensure if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold or spreading.”
A/ACFO Brown said it is also time for landowners and managers to ensure that their equipment meets the requirements for operation during the Fire Danger Period.
“While CFA and our partner agencies Fire Rescue Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria do everything we can to prepare for the bushfire season, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires,” he said.
He said people need to be aware that if using fire to clean up around their properties they need to register these on 1800 668 511.
“You should not burn-off when winds are high or high winds are forecast - not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards,” he said.
“For information about burn-off restrictions specific to your area, consult your local council.”
A/ACFO Brown said once the Fire Danger Period (FDP) comes into effect, CFA has a zero-tolerance approach to any fires caused by negligent behaviour.
“Expect any escaped or uncontrolled fire you start to be investigated by CFA and Victoria Police,” he said.
CFA can issue permits for certain circumstances during the FDP. There are very strict conditions attached to these permits and the liability sits with the permit holder to ensure they always act safely.
During the FDP fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer. FDPs are based on local conditions and take into account fuel moisture, fuel loads, grassland curing, weather and rainfall.
Fire Danger Period information and restrictions are published at cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/restrictions-during-the-fire-danger-period. Please note the latest restrictions will be published on this page by the Tuesday before they come into force.
Victorians can find out “Can I or Can’t I?” information at https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings/can-i-or-cant-i or by calling VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226. All burn-offs should be registered with the VicFire Burn-off notification line on 1800 668 511.
Fire Danger Period information:
- A written permit is required to burn off grass, undergrowth, weeds or other vegetation during the FDP. This permit may be issued by the CFA District Office however only in exceptional circumstances or late in the FDP for agricultural purposes.
- Lighting a fire in the open without a permit is an offence and can bring a penalty of over $19,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment. Barbeques and fires for cooking and warmth do not require a permit, but must be lit in properly constructed fireplaces (to view complete conditions visit https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings/can-i-or-cant-i
- The use of an incinerator, chainsaw/lawn mower, welding/grinding equipment and vehicles that come in contact with vegetation and machinery with an internal combustion/heat engine are permitted provided conditions are followed.
- Farmers can find legal guidelines and practical advice at cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/farms - this information is important especially for new farmers, bush block owners or hobby farmers.
- A Total Fire Ban declaration means no fires can be lit for the declared district for that day unless there is a specific exemption or special permit issued. This applies irrespective of the Fire Restriction status for a given municipality.