Northern Grampians Shire Council has declared a fee exemption period for Open Air Permits to Burn between 3 and 18 October 2020.
An Open Air Permit to Burn is required to burn materials on land zoned as residential, commercial, or industrial outside the declared Fire Danger Period, and normally costs $53.
Fees for permits where the burn date is during the exemption period will be waived under council’s local law.
Applicants should note that the fee will only be waived if the burn is carried out during the exemption period, and not only if the application is made during that period.
The purpose of the fee exemption period is to encourage residents to reduce the fuel load on their property to minimise the risk of fires in the next Fire Danger Period.
Northern Grampians Shire Council CEO, Liana Thompson, said the fee waiver is an important motivator for shire residents to start reducing their fire fuel loads before the next fire season.
“It won’t be long before fire season is upon us and council sees this fee waiver as both an incentive for residents to clean up their properties and also an acknowledgment that times are quite tough,” she said.
“Any concessions we can give people at the moment to help them protect our shire is all part of making sure we are supporting our community.
“I encourage everyone to assess their properties for fire hazards now and take every possible step to reduce fuel loads while this waiver is in place.
“Fire safety extends well beyond the boundaries of one’s own backyard. Let’s do what we can now to keep our communities safe from the threat of fire this coming season and be fire-ready.”
During this time, permit applications will still be required and applicants are asked to allow up to five working days for the permit to be processed. A Community Safety Officer will need to inspect the property prior to issuing a permit, and permits contain set conditions which must be adhered to during the burn period.
Residents conducting burns must ensure that their fires are completely extinguished by raking apart ashes and wetting them down. Council advises that no heavy fuels are to be burnt, e.g. stumps and large tree trunks or limbs, due to these being prone to reignition.
While these exemption period dates have been set, they are subject to be changed or voided if the Fire Danger Period commences earlier than expected.
Applications can be made online at www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/fire