Horsham Rural City Council is accepting applications from landowners to burn stubble and grass during the fire restriction season.
Council is authorised to issue schedule 13 permits to burn grass and stubble during the Fire Danger Period.
Applications can be submitted online at hrcc.vic.gov.au and landowners must follow strict permit conditions.
“Last season hundreds of farmers took advantage of the user friendly online permit application system and we encourage landowners to do the same again this year,” Director Development Services Angela Murphy said.
Ms Murphy said landowners must adhere to the conditions of the permit and follow CFA guidelines by notifying Vic Fire on 1800 668 511 when about to burn-off.
“For the first time this year CFA Paddock Burning Operations Guidelines and information from DEWLP will be included with permit to help landowners better understand their obligations when using this valuable farming tool,” she said.
Ms Murphy also said that every effort should be made to protect paddock trees from damage during stubble burning.
“Trees that are scattered across paddocks throughout the Wimmera are widely appreciated for their aesthetic appeal. They are also recognised for their economic benefits such as providing shade and shelter to livestock, reducing the risk of dryland salinity and erosion,” Ms Murphy said.
She said that the trees were important for biodiversity and reducing climatic warming.
“Birds, bats and other animals use paddock trees for resting, feeding, protection from predators and as a stepping stone to larger stands of vegetation. Even in dead trees, the hollows are used for nesting, whilst fallen timber provides habitat for small ground-dwelling animals such as reptiles,” she said.
Failure to ensure the protection of paddock trees may result in action being taken by the police, Council Officers and/or government departments. Council welcomes information as to those not doing the right thing.