FIRE restrictions have been lifted in South Gippsland, Bass Coast and Baw Baw. The Fire Danger Period and Fire Prohibited Periods finished on Monday (April 11) in the three municipalities.
The Fire Danger and Fire Prohibited Periods are based on local conditions and take into account fuel moistures, fuel loads, grassland curing, weather and rainfall. They are a seasonal declaration. Information about fire restrictions is available in CFA’s ‘Can I or Can’t I’ brochure available at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/restrictions or by phoning the Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667.
Although CFA places only limited restrictions on the lighting of fires in the open air outside the Fire Danger Period, lighting of fires may be fully or partly restricted under legislation and by-laws administered by municipalities and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
A person who lights a fire in dangerous weather or fuel conditions or lights a fire that damages another person’s property whether intentionally or not is guilty of a serious crime.
Always remember to:
- Check local by-laws before burning-off and never leave a burn-off unattended
- Tell your neighbours and call the Vicfire Burn Off Line on 1800 668 511 so that brigades don’t get called out to burn-offs unnecessarily
- Check the weather forecast before you burn off and never burn off in dry, hot, windy conditions.
CFA’s assistant chief officer, Trevor Owen, said that although the weather is starting to cool down a little, people still need to careful.
“Anyone living in or travelling through Gippsland needs to keep an eye on the weather and be aware of their surroundings. We’ve had a relatively quiet fire season this year, but there’s no need to be complacent,” Mr Owen said.
“People should ring the Vicfire Burn Off Line before conducting any burns and use their common sense. Any fire left unattended in windy conditions can spread into bushland, onto a neighbour’s property or into other materials which will cause untold damage.”
Forest Fire Management Gippsland’s acting assistant chief fire officer, Grange Jephcott, said these messages are just as applicable to the public land estate.
“People enjoying Gippsland’s National Parks and State Forests should be as careful with the use of campfires over this period as they were in the Fire Danger Period – particularly along the coastal strip where most damaging fires are wind driven,” Mr Jephcott said. “If people are in any doubt about the use of fire on private or public land, the best thing they can do is seek advice from either CFA or DELWP.”