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Mid Murray Council

Mid Murray Council

In the heart of South Australia's

Murraylands and Riverland Regions

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Fire Prevention

  

 
AMENDED FIRE DANGER SEASON – RIVERLAND DISTRICT – 1 NOVEMBER 2017 TO 15 APRIL 2018
FIRE DANGER SEASON – MURRAYLANDS DISTRICT – 15 NOVEMBER 2017 TO 15 APRIL 2018

 

Fire Prevention is everyone's concern.  Make sure you read this page.  It covers the following Information:-

* Your Responsibility
* Bushfire Prevention
* Undergrowth Within Residential Areas
* Total Fire Bans
* Permits
* Backyard Burning
* Fireworks

Did you know that as an owner of a property you have a duty to prevent the occurrence or spread of fire through land, whether you're a residential or rural block owner with a dwelling or even vacant land. This is part of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Part 3 Division 8 and Part 4 Division 7 and 8).

The SA Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Country Fire Service part) states under Section 105F that - 

(1) An owner of private land must take reasonable steps-

     (a) to prevent or inhibit the outbreak of fire on the land; and

     (b) to prevent or inhibit the spread of fire through the land; and

     (c) to protect property on the land from fire; and

     (d) to minimise the threat to human life from a fire on the land.

Maximum penalty: $5,000.

Throughout the year it is always time to look at measures that can be implemented for the protection of life and property through fire prevention measures. Ensure that all flammable material are cleared from around dwellings; rural properties ensuring proper land management principles are adhered to, to stop the spread of fire through their property while adhering to the Native Vegetation Act for fire breaks etc.

Bushfire Protection

In the garden and around the home:

  • Cut down grass and clear away any fallen branches, leaves and dead undergrowth within 20 metres of the home.
  • Prune lower branches less than 1 metres above the ground to provide a vertical fuel break to help prevent ground fires from spreading into trees.
  • Remove any mulch to at least 1 metre from any dwelling wall and move woodpiles away from the dwellings.
  • Ensure all gutters are kept clear of leaves and twigs.

Rural Living - On rural properties, prepare and maintain fuel breaks around fence lines, buildings, equipment sheds, haystacks, hay sheds and fuel supplies.

Fuel reduction on vacant allotments greater than 0.03 hectares in size. It is considered that a mowed or slashed firebreak be constructed around the perimeter of the block of land to the minimum width of 4m. The flammable growth on the firebreak is to be maintained to maximum height of 10cms for the duration of the fire danger season. However this is only a guideline.

Residential Areas

Council is involved in a township clearance program which starts around October each year, this involves inspection of township and some rural allotments, under the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 section 105F.

Council can issue a Section 105F notice if :

'a Council believes that the conditions on private land in a fire district are as such as to cause an unreasonable risk of the outbreak of fire on the land, or spread of fire through the land, due to the presence of flammable undergrowth or other flammable or combustible materials or substances'.

It is the Landowners responsibility to comply with the Act. Failure to comply with a notice can now incur an expiation of $160, plus the recovery cost of council carrying out the work required by that notice.

It is recommended that property owners keep the height of grass on their property to a maximum height of 10 centimetres for the entire fire danger season.

Fire Bans

Fire Ban Season for the Murraylands and Riverland Districts starts 15th November to 15th April each year unless otherwise stated.

On days of extreme weather conditions Fire Bans may be declared for the Mid Murray Council district and other areas in the State. To determine whether a fire ban has been imposed, phone the CFS Hotline on 1300 362 361

Fire Permits

During the Fire Danger Season almost all fires in the open require permits. Applications for permits can be made at the Mid Murray Council office during business hours.

Fires not requiring permits, other than on a Total Fire Ban day include:

  • A campfire for personal warmth or cooking purposes provided the fire is contained in portable cooking appliance or a trench 30cm deep and the fire does not occupy an area exceeding one square metre and there is a four metre clearance of flammable material around and above the fire.
  • A fire for burning of refuse provided the fire is contained in a properly constructed incinerator and is not situated in a township within the area.
  • Electric welders, mechanical cutting tools, gas equipment (such as oxy equipment) and gas or electric cooking appliances, provided there is a 4 meter clearance around the appliances and equipment.

Total Fire Ban Days

All fires are prohibited on a total fire ban day unless a permit has been issued. However permits will only be issued in special circumstances. Note: Electric welders, mechanical cutting tools and gas appliances require a permit before they can be used in the open on a day of a total fire ban.

The penalty for lighting a fire in the open without a permit on a total fire ban day is $10,000.

Backyard Burning (Outside the Fire Danger Season)

Burning in the open is regulated by the Environment Protection Authority, within the Environment Protection (Burning) Policy 1994 in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1993.

Residents are permitted to burn dried gardening prunings, dry paper, dry cardboard or dry timber on their domestic premises, between the hours of 10.00am and 3.00pm from Monday to Saturday.

The fire must not be lit before 10.00am and must be completely extinguished by 3.00pm. Burning is not permitted on Sunday or any Public Holiday.

It is important to ensure that the material being burnt is completely dry to ensure a quick, clean burn and therefore minimising the amount of smoke produced from the fire. The burning of damp, wet or green garden prunings, leaves or other material is not permitted. 

Backyard Burning (Within the Fire Danger Season, 15 November – 15 April)

During the Fire Danger Season, residents are not permitted to burn any materials on domestic premises, without first obtaining a permit to do so in accordance with the Fire & Emergency Services Act, 2005.  These permits may be issued by the Mid Murray Council’s Fire Prevention Officer’s.

Fireworks

Instances of illegal fireworks has increased over the past few years and Mid Murray Council would like to remind its ratepayers that the possession and detonation of any fireworks by anyone other than a licensed Pyrotechnician is illegal and may result in criminal proceedings against those persons found detonating fireworks.

It is important to understand that any illegal use of fireworks places an increased risk of bushfire to all within the immediate vicinity, and during the holiday and festive seasons, many CFS brigades may have reduced numbers of fire fighters to respond to these unnecessary bushfires.

In an effort to reduce the increasing risks these activities are placing upon our communities, it is requested that should you become aware of any illegal fireworks activity within your district, that you report the matter immediately to your local police.

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