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Burning and Fire Prevention

Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

This page outlines the responsibilities of property owners, fire prevention information, township land clearance program, fire bans, permit requirements and useful links.

 

Property owner responsibilities

Did you know that as a property owner you have a duty to prevent the occurrence or spread of fire through land, whether you are a residential or rural block owner with a dwelling or even vacant land. This is part of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Act (Part 3 Division 8 and Part 4 Division 7 and 8).

The SA Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Country Fire Service part) states under Section 105F that - 

(1) An owner of private land must take reasonable steps-

     (a) to prevent or inhibit the outbreak of fire on the land; and

     (b) to prevent or inhibit the spread of fire through the land; and

     (c) to protect property on the land from fire; and

     (d) to minimise the threat to human life from a fire on the land.

Maximum penalty: $5,000

Throughout the year it is always time to look at measures that can be implemented for the protection of life and property through fire prevention measures.  This entails ensuring all flammable material is cleared from around dwellings; rural properties ensuring proper land management principles are adhered to, to stop the spread of fire through their property while adhering to the Native Vegetation Act for fire breaks etc.

 

Bushfire protection

In the garden and around the home:

  • Cut down grass and clear away any fallen branches, leaves and dead undergrowth within 20 metres of the home.
  • Prune lower branches less than 1 metre above the ground to provide a vertical fuel break to help prevent ground fires from spreading into trees.
  • Remove any mulch to at least 1 metre from any dwelling wall and move woodpiles away from the dwellings.
  • Ensure all gutters are kept clear of leaves and twigs.

Rural Living - On rural properties, prepare and maintain fuel breaks around fence lines, buildings, equipment sheds, haystacks, hay sheds and fuel supplies.

Fuel reduction on vacant allotments greater than 0.03 hectares in size. It is considered that a mown or ploughed firebreak be constructed around the perimeter of the block of land to the minimum width of 4 metres. The flammable growth on the firebreak is to be maintained to maximum height of 10cms for the duration of the fire danger season.

 

Township land clearance program

Council undertakes an annual township vacant land clearance program which commences in the second week of October each year. This involves inspection of township properties and some rural allotments, under the provisions of Section 105 of South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005.

Council has the legal ability to issue a Section 105F hazard reduction notice if:

  • 'the Council believes that the conditions on private land in a fire district are as such as to cause an unreasonable risk by the outbreak of fire on the land, or the spread of fire through the land, due to the presence of flammable undergrowth or other flammable or combustible materials or substances'.

It is the landowners responsibility to comply with the requirements of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005. Failure to comply with the directions as set out on the hazard reduction notice will result in the property owner incurring an expiation of $315.00, plus the recovery cost incurred by Council for carrying out the work as set out in the notice.

It is recommended that property owners keep the height of grass on their property to a maximum height of 10 centimetres for the duration of the fire danger season.

View the township land clearance program information sheet.

 

Fire danger season

The fire danger season for the Mount Lofty Ranges runs from 1 December to 30 April each year unless otherwise stated.

On days of extreme weather conditions fire bans may be declared. To determine whether a fire ban has been imposed visit the South Australia CFS website.

 

Burning in the open

As of the 1st July 2017, there were new laws introduced regarding burning in the open within the township residential area. These new laws aim to minimise the smoke impact on residents while keeping the air clean and  the community safe.

If you live within a residential section of the township you are now required to obtain a permit to burn from Council. View a map that outlines the township boundary and where permits are required.

No permit is required if you live in a section of the Council which is classed as Rural or Rural Living.

It should be noted that rural properties are required to abide by the CFS Codes of Practices for Broad Acre Burning or Vegetation Rubbish Pile burning. These documents can be found by visiting the CFS Website

If a permit is issued for burning within the township residential area, burning can only be undertaken during the hours of 10am and 3pm, Monday to Saturday. No Burning is permitted on Sundays.

How to apply for a permit

Download and complete the permit application form, or collect a hard copy form from the Civic Centre (1 Bay Road, Victor Harbor).

There is no cost to apply for a permit. Please be aware it can take up to seven (7) days to process applications, however Council staff try to process them daily where ever possible.

Be safe and considerate

When burning in the open you need to take into the consideration:

  • All vegetation to be burnt should be dead and completely dry – do not burn green vegetation
  • Weather conditions must be considered before lighting, preferably choosing a cool and calm day
  • Give fires maximum air-flow for efficiency, resulting in less smoke
  • Do not cause a smoke nuisance to your neighbours.

Burning as a last resort

Before applying for a permit to burn in the open, have your considered alternatives?

  • Garden and general household waste can be taken to the Goolwa Waste and Recycling Depot.
  • Use your green organics kerbside bin.
  • Compost green organics in your garden.

 

Got a question?

Contact Council’s Fire Prevention Officer on (08) 8551 0500.

 

Useful links

South Australia Country Fire Service

Alert SA – real-time event and warning information for South Australia

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Victor Harbor SA 5211
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Victor Harbor SA 5211
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Data Last Modified: 2017-10-23T12:45:52
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