CFA warns of early season

Benalla Ensign - - VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION 2018 -

CFA District 23 Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Stew­art Krelt­szheim has warned that the fire season in Benalla and across the state will start ear­lier than usual and be more ac­tive than nor­mal be­cause of warmer and drier con­di­tions.

Parts of Vic­to­ria have al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced grass and bush­fires and Oc­to­ber 29 is one of the ear­li­est dates the Fire Dan­ger Pe­riod (FDP) has been in­tro­duced in District 23 — at least two weeks ear­lier than usual.

His­tor­i­cally, the FDP has started in midto-late Novem­ber or De­cem­ber in this area.

‘‘The warmer and drier-than-av­er­age weather over re­cent months, teamed with re­cent rain­fall caus­ing growth in pas­tures and road­sides means res­i­dents need to be pre­pared for the im­mi­nent fire season,’’ Mr Krelt­szheim said.

‘‘Out of con­trol burn-offs and un­reg­is­tered burn-offs are a ma­jor and avoid­able headache for brigades.

‘‘Avoid burn­ing off when high winds are forecast — not only on the day of your burn, but for the days af­ter­wards.

‘‘For in­for­ma­tion about burn-off re­stric­tions spe­cific to your area, con­sult your lo­cal coun­cil.’’

CFA takes a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to any unau­tho­rised fires or fires re­sult­ing from neg­li­gent be­hav­iour sub­ject to po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

‘‘Even if you have a per­mit to use fire over the FDP, make sure you read the con­di­tions care­fully,’’ Mr Krelt­szheim said.

‘‘Fail­ing to fol­low just one of those con­di­tions may leave you open to pros­e­cu­tion.’’

Dur­ing the FDP fires can­not be lit in the open air with­out a writ­ten per­mit from CFA or a mu­nic­i­pal fire preven­tion of­fi­cer.

FDPs are based on lo­cal con­di­tions and take into ac­count fuel mois­ture, fuel loads, grass­land cur­ing, weather and rain­fall.

All burn-offs should be reg­is­tered with the VicFire Burn-off no­ti­fi­ca­tion line on 1800 668 511.

For com­pre­hen­sive FDP in­for­ma­tion, visit cfa.vic.gov.au Please note that the lat­est re­stric­tions will be pub­lished on this web­page the Tues­day be­fore they come into force.

Vic­to­ri­ans can also find out ‘‘Can I or Can’t I?’’ in­for­ma­tion at cfa.vic.gov.au or by phon­ing VicEmer­gency Hot­line on 1800 226 226.

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