Although the Fire Danger Period for North East Victoria is over, the threat of fire in and around Benalla is still a present danger.
Because of drier-than-usual conditions for this time of year, people are advised that it is easy to lose control of burn-offs.
‘‘Take care and have water readily available at all times and ensure your burn is 100 per cent out before you leave it,’’ CFA District 23 and 24 community education coordinator Andrew Arnold said.
‘‘Also never leave your burn-off unattended, this goes for small backyard bonfires in drums, too.’’
Check with your local council to make sure you’re allowed to burn off.
Some councils have regulations and local laws to adhere to.
Burning off grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is generally permitted outside the Fire Danger Period, however, local laws on burn-offs can apply year-round.
To be on the safe side it’s best to check with your local council before lighting up.
Mr Arnold wishes to remind anyone burning off, they still need to be mindful of the risks related to lighting fire for any purpose.
‘‘Whether you’re cleaning up around your property, clearing vegetation or even just having a bonfire with some friends around, you need to stay vigilant and be mindful of the risks, and in particular the responsibilities associated with lighting any fire,’’ he said.
‘‘Before lighting up, we urge residents to always notify their neighbours and register any burns with the Burn-Off Notification Hotline on 1800668511.
‘‘The Burn-Off Notification Hotline is a free call... which allows residents to register their burn and saves the embarrassment of having a fleet of fire trucks arrive at their property.
‘‘It also reduces the workload on our hard-working volunteers and it will save them having to attend a false alarm.
‘‘Every year our CFA crews are wasting precious time and resources responding to false alarms because people aren’t registering their burn-offs.’’
●People can register their burn with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority via the Burn-Off Notification Hotline on 1800668511 or via email [email protected]
●For more information, go to www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/burning-off