Fire danger period starts in parts of the Wimmera

THE fire danger period for parts of the region will start on Monday.

The restrictions will come into force in Northern Grampians Shire, Yarriambiack Shire, the northern part of Horsham Rural City, the central-east part of West Wimmera Shire.

Country Fire Authority district 17 operations manager Dale Russell said most forecasts indicated an above average fire season.

“An increase in warmer weather across the district has caused grass to dry rapidly, which increases properties vulnerability to fire,” he said.

Mr Russell said it was important to prepare your property to minimise any chance of fire taking hold or spreading.

“It is important to undertake mitigation work, including slashing, grading and general property clean-ups before the fire danger ratings increase,” he said.

“Any burning-off requires thorough planning, ensuring there are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn safely and effectively.

“Avoid burning off when high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards.”

Mr Russell said the CFA took a zero tolerance approach to any unauthorised fires or fires resulting from negligent behaviour subject to police investigation.

“A fire started at any time of the year which damages someone else’s property is a crime,” he said.

“For information about burn-off restrictions specific to your area consult your council.

“Even if you have a permit to use fire over the fire danger period, make sure you read the conditions carefully.

“Failing to follow just one of those conditions may leave you open to prosecution.”

During the fire danger period fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit.