Spate of out-of-control burn-offs prompts warning

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CFA is asking Victorians to take extreme care when burning off following 115 out-of-control burn-offs across the state last month.


To avoid a further spike, CFA is urging residents who have recently undertaken burn-offs, or who are preparing a burn-off, to take extra precautions over the coming weeks as weather conditions become warmer and drier with challenging gusty winds.

The recent out-of-control private burn-offs causing some of the fires in East Gippsland and Berringa served as a timely reminder for residents to ensure they are aware of burn-off safety measures and are prepared before ignition.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said he encourages Victorians to take advantage of the window of opportunity to clean up their properties before the bushfire season but to make safety a priority when doing so.  

“It is imperative that residents register their burn-off and check the local conditions on the day, as well as coming days,” CO Heffernan said.

“Conditions can change quickly, and fires can get out of control within minutes in hot and windy conditions. As we saw recently with the East Gippsland fires the effects of an out-of-control fire can be devastating.

“Burn-offs can flare up a couple of days after the burn-off, which highlights the importance of making sure your burn-off is fully extinguished.”

CO Heffernan said there are some simple steps Victorians can take to keep their burn-offs safe as we enter a high-risk fire season.

“The quickest and easiest way to safeguard yourself and the rest of the community is to register your burn-off using the Fire Permits Victoria website.

“Let your neighbours know you’re planning to burn off as smoke and fire will be visible to them, and make sure you have enough people to monitor and extinguish the burn safely, don’t leave it unattended.

“It is also essential you have enough water on hand to put out a fire, and we recommend establishing a fire break of no less than three metres cleared of flammable materials.”

Victorians can learn more about how to prepare their property here

Keep your burn-off safe and legal:

  • Follow regulations or laws by CFA and local council. 
  • Check and monitor weather conditions - particularly wind.
  • Postpone your activity if high fire risk conditions develop. 
  • Notify your neighbours if the burn will generate fire and smoke. 
  • Leave a three-metre fire break, free from flammable materials around the burn.
  • Never leave a burn-off unattended - stay for its entire duration.
  • Ensure there are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn effectively.
  • The quickest way to register your burn-off is online at burn-off registration line is available on 1800 688 511.
  • Make sure your household has a Bushfire Survival Plan. Find out how here.


Submitted by CFA Media