The Fire Danger Period will begin at 1am on Monday 28 October 2019 for the following municipalities in CFA’s North East Region District 23, which includes Benalla Rural City.
CFA District 23 Operations Manager Colin Brown said “Low winter rainfall across the North East means the grass and bush are dry and the fire potential is further increased by Bureau of Meteorology forecasts that the next three months will be drier and warmer than average,”
“Any rainfall we do experience in spring will produce growth, which could very easily become a high fuel load throughout the summer season if not properly managed,” Mr Brown said.
“Reducing fuel loads will ensure that if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold or spreading.
“While CFA and its partner agencies Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management, DELWP and Emergency Management Victoria are doing everything we can to prepare for the bushfire season, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.”
Mr Brown said there was still a short window of opportunity to clean up your property if you haven’t already done so. “Remove dry grass and leaf litter from around homes and sheds. Store wood and other combustibles away from buildings.”
“People need to be aware that if using fire to clean up around their properties they need to register these on 1800 668 511. So far this year, out-of-control burn-offs and unregistered burn-offs have already caused unnecessary call-outs for brigades. Property owners need to take great care when using fire.” Mr Brown said.
“You should not burn off when winds are high or high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards. Large logs and stumps in ground should not be lit until autumn when restrictions are lifted, as they can smoulder and burn below ground for weeks.
Operations Manager Colin Brown said once the FDP comes into effect, CFA has a zero-tolerance approach to any fires that have started from negligent behaviour.
“Expect any fire you start to be fully investigated by CFA and Victoria Police,” he said.
CFA does issue permits for a certain situations during the FDP. These are mainly for critical industry, agriculture and other purposes. There are very strict conditions attached to these permits and the liability sits with the permit holder to ensure they always act safely.