Burn-off rules in place: fire season

Acting Shire of Mundaring Chief Bush Fire Control Officer Mark Strickland warns of a very dry-seasonal outlook.
Acting Shire of Mundaring Chief Bush Fire Control Officer Mark Strickland warns of a very dry-seasonal outlook.

A POTENTIALLY early start to this year’s fire season has prompted a warning with the onset of the restricted burning period.

From yesterday, permits are required for any burning done before 6pm.

Residents can conduct burning between 6pm and 11pm, but must adhere to some requirements.

Acting Shire of Mundaring chief bushfire control officer Mark Strickland said there was a very dry seasonal outlook.

He said there were still opportunities for burning, but residents needed to be cautious and mindful of the forecast relative humidity and wind speed.

“At this stage, until we get some more rain, the fire behaviour is probably closer to what would be expected in late October/November,” Mr Strickland said.

“There have already been cases of burns being very volatile with small changes in the weather and terrain.

“There have been cases of spotting up to 2km, which indicates that the aerated above-surface fuels are very dry.

“If residents have a permit for running fire, they must be aware of the current and forecast weather before commencing and make sure they have the necessary equipment.”

During the restricted burning period, permits must be obtained from local volunteer bushfire brigades to burn garden refuse before 6pm.

Mr Strickland said it was important for residents to minimise fuel loads on their property to manageable levels of less than five tonnes per hectare.

Firebreaks also needed to be in place by November 1.

“There are a range of alternatives to burning green waste,” he said.

“Grass can be slashed, grazed or sprayed with herbicide to reduce fuel loads.

Shire residents are also able to dispose of green waste and garden refuse free of charge at local transfer stations.

“Garden refuse can also be used as a mulch or compost to improve soils and the growth of plants.”

Contact details for volunteer bushfire brigades are in the shire’s Fire and Burning information booklet posted to ratepayers in August and available online at www.mundaring.wa.gov.au.

Burning restrictions

A small pile may be burned without a permit after 6pm, subject to:

– Neighbours being informed of the intention to burn

– Smoke not causing a nuisance to neighbours or creating a traffic hazard

– The pile of refuse not exceeding 1sq m

– A 5m wide area clear of flammable material around surrounding the pile

– The fire is only lit between 6pm and 11pm

– Only one pile is a light at one time and is completely extinguished by midnight;

– At least one person is in attendance at all times

– A means of extinguishing the fire is available at all times (e.g. garden hose, knapsack spray or fire unit)

– Household or commercial waste or any noxious materials are not burned.