On September 1 much of the state will be entering the Bush Fire Danger Period ahead of the official date of the 1st October.
Once a Bushfire Danger Period commences landholders in these LGAs need to apply for a permit to burn off and notify their neighbours and local fire authorities 24 hours before lighting up. Free permits are available by contacting your local Fire Control Centre.
Since August 1, firefighters across the state have attended more than 600 fires caused by escaped burns. The RFS is urging landholders to exercise caution and adhere to rules when conducting burns on their properties prior to the Bush Fire Danger Period coming into effect.
Heavy fines apply for the unsafe use of fire or if a fire escapes – landholders who fail to notify firefighters and neighbours face fines of up to $5,500 and/or 12 months jail while escaped fires attract penalties of up to $110,000 and/or five years prison and even more on days of Total Fire Ban.
Some good news before this potentially dangerous bushfire season is that more than 200 digital fire warning signs are being rolled out to upgrade the current signs which RFS volunteers manually change daily.
The signs, which are powered by solar panels, are automatically updated each day in line with fire danger ratings on the RFS website. The ratings are informed by data from the Bureau of Meteorology. The signs use the revised Australian Fire Danger Rating System, which includes four categories for fire danger: Moderate (green), High (yellow), Extreme (orange) and Catastrophic (red), with simple actions for the community to take at each level. On days when there is minimal risk, ‘no rating’ is used.