Fire per­mit sea­son starts

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

TAS­MA­NIAN au­thor­i­ties are crack­ing down on peo­ple light­ing fires af­ter ex­treme dry con­di­tions have al­ready led to some burn-offs get­ting out of con­trol.

A fire per­mit pe­riod has been de­clared for all of the south of the state and parts of the North and North-West as the state en­ters the bush­fire sea­son.

Tas­ma­nia Fire Ser­vice re­gional fire chief Jeremy Smith said the East Coast, Der­went Val­ley, Mid­lands and parts of King­bor­ough and Huonville were par­tic­u­larly dry.

Re­spon­si­ble landown­ers, who had been try­ing to legally re­duce fuel loads had been re­cently caught out by the con­di­tions, he said.

Sev­eral haz­ard re­duc­tion burns on pri­vate prop­erty had es­caped in the past fort­night and re­quired the as­sis­tance of fire crews.

“Peo­ple have been do­ing the right thing by con­duct­ing burns to re­duce haz­ards on their prop­erty but con­di­tions are such at the mo­ment that it doesn’t take much for burns to es­cape,” he said.

“The per­mit process will as­sist landown­ers by tak­ing into ac­count those con­di­tions be­fore per­mit­ting them to burn.”

It was im­por­tant land own­ers re­duced fuel loads, but con­di­tions needed to be safe.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy in­di­cated parts of the East Coast were ex­tremely dry.

The Soil Dry­ness In­dex, which mea­sures how much rain­fall is needed to sat­u­rate soil, shows Friendly Beaches and Swansea at max­i­mum dry­ness.

Tas­ma­nia Fire Ser­vice deputy chief of­fi­cer Bruce By­att said the per­mit pe­riod started yes­ter­day and would run un­til the end of the fire sea­son, usu­ally around Easter.

The fire per­mit pe­riod has been de­clared for all south­ern, three north­ern, and four North-West mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Peo­ple in the de­clared mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties will re­quire a free lo­cal per­mit, which sets out how to con­duct burns safely.

Camp­fires and bar­be­cues do not re­quire a per­mit. But peo­ple must re­main in at­ten­dance at all times while any fires re­main alight and en­sure they are com­pletely ex­tin­guished be­fore leav­ing.

If a fire does es­cape, call 000. For how to ob­tain a fire per­mit call 1800 000 699 or visit www.fire.tas. gov.au.

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