Fire Restrictions, Burning Off and Fire Prevention Notices
The CFA informs Council when the Fire Danger Period commences. At this stage, no date has been set.
The CFA introduces Fire Restrictions for all private land in Golden Plains Shire over the summer period each year. Fire restrictions are determined by the CFA in response to weather and fuel curing in the lead up to summer and they advise Council accordingly.
During Fire Restrictions or the 'Fire Danger Period', residents are required to obtain a permit to burn in the open air. Permits will only be issued to landowners for agricultural purposes. These permits are available from the CFA.
It is also important to know if a Total Fire Ban applies to you. Golden Plains Shire sits within the Central Fire District and so Total Fire Bans for the Central Fire District apply to the whole of the Golden Plains Shire area.
Fire Prevention and COVID-19
Council are awaiting advice from DHHS and CFA however under the current COVID-19 arrangements, attending your holiday house or vacant block to undertake fire prevention works is not one of the reasons to leave your house.
If you have received a Fire Prevention Notice in the past, or you havn't been able to attend to your property for mainteneace, you may want to investigate whether you need to arrange a contactor to attend and maintain your property to slash grass and remove fine fuels. Council inspections begin on the 2nd of November 2020.
Burning Off and Incinerators
No fires are permitted in the open air during the declared Fire Danger Period (fire restriction period) without a Permit to Burn issued by the CFA. More information regarding burning off, using incinerators or having a camp fire can be found on the CFA's Can I or Can't I page available on the CFA website.
Residents are reminded that they cannot burn off offensive materials, including chemicals, rubber, plastic, petrol, oil, paint, treated timber, furniture or mattresses. If you know of a pile of these items ready to be burnt, Contact Council and a Community Protection Officer will attend, inspect and educate the resident.
If you need to dispose of garden refuse during the Fire Danger Period, you have the option of taking it to the tip or waiting until restrictions are lifted.
The use of properly constructed incinerators is permitted in Golden Plains Shire. However, before lighting an incinerator or burning off your pile of garden waste, consider your neighbours. Try to burn off on days when the wind is blowing away from your neighbour's home and when they don't have washing on the line. Always supervise your burn and ensure your fire is completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.
Council strongly encourage residents to log their burn off with the Burn Off Notification line on 1800 668 511. This helps to minimise the risk of the local fire brigade being called to your burn.
Farmers intending to burn crop stubble can apply to the CFA for Schedule 13 Permits to Burn.
NO burning is permitted in the open on days of TOTAL FIRE BAN.
Fire Prevention Notices
Properties deemed to be a high fire risk (e.g. long uncut grass) to either themselves or their immediate neighbours are issued with a Fire Prevention Notice instructing the landholder to carry out certain works to reduce the risk.
Owners of land are required to keep their properties cut to a maximum height of 300 millimetres during the non-fire season and then to a maximum height of 100 millimetres during the fire danger period.
As the result of the week’s inspections, the owners of any properties where grass growth has reached more than 100 millimetres may be issued with a Fire Prevention Notice. The Notice will specify what works are required to remove the fire hazard and give a date by which all clearance works must be completed.
Landholders are given a period of time to comply before a second round of inspections are conducted. Council will enter land and carry out fire hazard reduction works when landholders do not comply with their Fire Prevention Notice and bill the cost of the works back to the owner.
Keeping the grass cut at lower heights reduces the speed of a fire and also the height of flames should a fire occur. Well-maintained properties reduce the risk posed to the community.
Maintenance of vacant land is the responsibility of the owner - whether they are a resident or non-resident.
Council’s own fire prevention works are also well underway, on roadsides and Council managed land, across the Shire – for more information about this program, click here.
Fire inspections - schedule and information
Our Fire Prevention Officers will commence inspections on 2 November 2020.
Land owners who subsequently do not clear their property, may have it deemed as a fire hazard. They will then be sent a Fire Prevention Notice which is an official direction notice stating works must be completed by 29 November 2020
Second inspections will commence from the 30 November 2020. These are follow up inspections to ensure that all work required to be undertaken has been completed.
If the work directed to be undertaken has not been completed, a letter advising that Council is now engaging a contractor to undertake the work will be sent. This will incur a fee of a minimum amount of $267.
Failing to comply by 29 November 2020 will also incur an infringement of $1,652 for failing to comply with a Fire Prevention Notice (infringement amount as per the CFA Act ) and further costs as Council will arrange a contractor to attend your property.
If you have further questions about Fire Prevention Notices, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page below or contact Council's Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on 5220 7111.