Southern Riverina news

Time to prepare for fire season

- By Alexandra Wilson

The next few weeks are a perfect time to clean up longer grass and weeds around your property, to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) is urging local residents to take this time to plan and undertake vegetation control, before the weather heats up and the risk of home and bush fires dramatical­ly increases.

The statutory Bush Fire Danger Period runs from October 1 to March 31 each year, however, it may vary due to local conditions.

If you are planning to light any fire in the open during this time, you will need a fire permit.

Leading into and following the Bush Fire Danger Period, it is not necessary to obtain a fire permit to carry out a bush fire hazard reduction burn or excess vegetation reduction burn on your property, rural or residentia­l.

It is however law that you must notify the authoritie­s of any plans to light anything larger than a cooking fire, to ensure all goes to plan with your burn-off. This must be done at least 24 hours in advance.

Other things to remember are:

• Notify your local RFS of the date and time of

your planned burn at least 24 hours before

you light up;

• Let your neighbours know the date and time at least 24 hours ahead of your planned burn;

• Ensure there is a clearance of all combustibl­e materials of at least two metres all around the proposed fire site to prevent flames from spreading;

• Make sure your fire does not contain toxic materials, such as rubber tyres, plastics, paint, etc;

• Have on hand appropriat­e resources to prevent the spread of fire and to completely douse the flames at the end of the burn. A garden hose, water cart/tanker, fire extinguish­er or other agent to put the flames out. It is also essential to have a responsibl­e person supervise the fire at all times, not only if there is the risk of it extending beyond the proposed burn area, and you must not cause an air pollution problem by producing excessive amounts of smoke.

Following the planned burn, it is essential to regularly check the burn area to make sure the fire has been completely extinguish­ed and there is no likelihood of it reigniting and causing damage to the surroundin­g area.

To register your burn, go to https://www.­n/BFDP/ burn-notificati­ons or call 1800 668 511.

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 ?? ?? A fuel management program, including targeted burning, can prevent major bushfire events.
A fuel management program, including targeted burning, can prevent major bushfire events.

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