Fire permit season starts
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.