CFA Media Release: Fire Danger Period Still in Force

Published on 18 March 2019

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Local volunteer firefighters have been kept busy in recent weeks as people fail to get the message that the fire danger period is still in force. Although we have experienced some cooler days during the beginning of March, this has not been accompanied by any meaningful rainfall and the landscape is still exceptionally dry on the land and in forests. Under these conditions, the lighting of fires places the community at considerable risk.

People are reminded that a number of large fires continue to burn across the state. Even some smaller local fires have kept our CFA volunteers on fire grounds for weeks, working through the day and night to prevent the spread of the fire.

During the Fire Danger Period you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a written permit from CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.

Lighting a fire in the open air without a permit is an offence, and can bring a penalty of over $19,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment. People who conduct burn offs without a permit put lives and property at risk, and place a drain on stretched CFA volunteer resources.

Permits will only be considered for specific purposes (i.e. carrying out necessary work). Applications that don’t fit a specific purpose will not be granted.

If you are issued a permit, you are still required to register your burn with the Burn-Off Notification Line on 1800 668 511.

In recent weeks fire authorities have also responded to a number of unattended campfires. Always make sure your campfire is completely extinguished using water before leaving – if it’s cool to touch, it’s safe to leave. Campfires are not allowed on days of Total Fire Ban.

“Can I or Can’t I?” at cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can provides information on what people can and can’t do during the Declared Fire Danger Period and days of Total Fire Ban. This information is also accessible via the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

Further information about fire restrictions within Victoria can be found through your local CFA District office, or via your Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.