District 20 Acting Operations Manager Mick Lavery emphasised that although the FDP is coming to an end in some areas, it is important to remain vigilant.
A/OM Lavery stated that fire restrictions are still in force in District 20 until 1.00am on 29 April and that a zero tolerance policy will continue to be enforced for people responsible for illegal fires.
“Residents that wish to conduct burn-offs on their private properties need to follow some basic rules; register your burn-offs first and foremost, check weather conditions and monitor the wind, and follow local council laws and regulations.”
A/OM Lavery also highlighted the need for landowners to openly communicate with authorities and neighbours.
“As well as registering your burn-offs with ESTA, you need to alert your neighbours to the fact that they may see smoke on the set dates.”
“It’s extremely annoying when CFA crews are forced to waste resources responding to false alarms because people are not registering their burn-offs.
“By registering your burn-off, when somebody reports that they’ve spotted smoke, the incident will be cross-checked with the burn-off register and prevent an angry CFA crew showing up on your door.”
“False alarms take crews away from family, friends, work and other potential emergencies.”
Landowners can register their burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether registering a burn-off by phone or email, people should be prepared to give some basic information including location, date, expected start and finish times, estimated size, and what they intend to burn.
“The burn-off line is very easy to use - the operators are friendly, and prompt you by asking the key questions,” A/OM Lavery said. “When conducting burn-offs, remain alert and always have resources on hand to extinguish the fire.”
Keep your burn off safe and legal:
- Check fire restrictions in your area and always register your burn
- Check and monitor weather conditions - particularly wind
- Warn your neighbours beforehand that there will be smoke in the air
- Stay in attendance the whole time your burn is going
- Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading