News

Be prepared: Fire danger period now in place

By Vanessa Wiltshire

The Fire Danger Period was declared on November 4 for Campaspe Shire and on November 11 for the City of Greater Bendigo and Mitchell Shires.

During the FDP fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from the CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.

Heathcote Fire Brigade Chief Carl Watkins said now was the time to clean up your property if you have not already, and have a bushfire plan in place.

“I cannot stress the importance of being prepared,” Mr Watkins said.

“Despite the recent rain and cooler weather, it’s still extremely dry. Be alert, but not alarmed. Always be aware of the conditions and don't hesitate to act."

CFA District 2 Operations Manager James Dullard added CFA and its partner agencies Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management and Emergency Management Victoria are ensuring everything is done to help prepare regional towns and communities for the bushfire season.

“Ultimately we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires,” Mr Dullard said.

“If you’re using fire to clean up around their properties, you must register them on the VicFire Burn-off notification line on 1800 668 511.

“Burn-offs should not occur when winds are high or high winds are forecast. Not only on the day of your burn but for several days afterwards.”

Mr Watkins said property owners should take extreme care when burning off, to ensure fire is properly extinguished.

“At the most extreme end, we’ve had a case of a fire reignite after a month,” Mr Watkins said.

“Pay close attention to where you burn off, and avoid trees with extensive root systems.”

The CFA has a zero-tolerance approach during the FDP to fires that start from negligent behaviour.

“Expect any fire you start to be fully investigated by CFA and Victoria Police,” Mr Dullard said.

“The CFA does issue permits for certain situations 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.”

Fire Danger Period information and restrictions www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warningsrestrictions/restrictions-during-the-fire-danger-period

Can I or Can’t I? www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warningsrestrictions/can or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

Your Bushfire Plan https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/your-bushfire-plan