Bush Fire Control
FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
For All Fires Ring 000
AND Your Local Fire Control Officer
FIRE BREAK REQUIREMENT
The Shire of Bridgetown - Greenbushes requires all land owners to install firebreaks or reduce the fuel load around the house by the 1st December to the 26th April annually. Properties under 4 hectares (10 acres) and unmanaged properties over 4 hectares are required to either have a perimeter firebreak of not less than 2 metres wide as well as a 3 metre firebreak around all buildings and haystacks, or alternately, be slashed so that the grass is no higher than 50mm high and all flammable materials likely to create a hazard are removed, except living trees and shrubs.
Block slashed to requirements
Example of properly constructed firebreak
Managed land means properties that are being actively fuel reduced throughout the period by means of grazing by an appropriate number of livestock, slashing and baling etc. These properties are not required to have perimeter firebreaks, although property owners are encouraged to install them in strategic locations to protect their property in the event of a fire.
They must however,
- Have a 20 metre low fuel around all buildings, haystacks and fuel storage areas where the height of the grass is not to exceed 100mm.
- There must also be an access track to all buildings not less than 4 metres wide and 3 metres high
WHY DO WE NEED FIREBREAKS
Firebreaks serve three main purposes
• Stop low intensity fires from spreading
• Allow entry for firefighting vehicles
• To provide a firebreak from which back burning can take place to control a fire.
It is essential that they are maintained to the specified requirements throughout the bush fire season for your safety and the safety of the volunteer fire fighters protecting your community.
For a full copy of the firebreak order, click here.
IF IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO CONSTRUCT A FIREBREAK ALONG YOUR BOUNDARY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL OR OTHER REASONS, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SHIRE COUNCIL BEFORE 30th OCTOBER TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FOR AN ALTERNATIVE FIREBREAK PLAN.
Livestock grazing around the house and buildings will help to protect your property.
Restricted Burning Period
Permits are required between the period of 1st November to the 14th December and 15th March to 26th April.
Burning permits can be obtained from your local Fire Control Officer listed below. If the Fire Control Officer in your area is not available, contact the Shire Office during hours of business.
|Chief Fire Control Officer||Brian Wheatley||(08) 9761 7508|
|Deputy CFCO||Derek Dilkes||(08) 9764 4016|
|Shire||Chris Sousa||0428 611 125|
|Winnejup||Rodney Hester||(08) 9764 4027|
|Bridgetown||Brian Hamence||(08) 9761 2872|
|Greenbushes||Greg Kennedy||0427 577 821|
|Wandilup||Jim Gifford||(08) 9761 1137|
|Hester Brook||David Jenkins||(08) 9761 1128|
|Kangaroo Gully||Michael Carlton||(08) 9761 7890|
|Maranup||Hugh Browne||(08) 9761 1200|
|Yornup||Michael Campbell||(08) 9761 9002|
|Catterick||Derek Dilkes||(08) 9764 4016|
|Sunnyside||Dean Scott||(08) 9761 7515|
A Total Fire Ban applies between 15th December to 14th March. This includes camp fires.
THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE – PLEASE CHECK WITH THE SHIRE BEFORE LIGHTING ANY FIRE
No roadside burning is allowed by any persons within the Shire at any time of the year without a permit from the Council. Anybody who is found to have burnt any roadside vegetation or reserve vested in the Shire, either deliberately, by neglect or carelessness can be issued with an infringement under Council’s Local Laws and the Bush Fires Act and will be liable for any costs incurred by the Shire or the Bush Fire Brigades.
Burning on Public Holidays
No Burning is permitted on a Public Holiday.
It is in the interest of all residents to be registered members of the Bush Fire Brigade covering the area in which they live or where they own land. Membership of a Brigade is the safest way to ensure cover under the Shire’s Fire Insurance Policy which covers personal injury and damage to equipment resulting from fighting bush fires under the direction of a Fire Control Officer.
For information on joining your local bush fire brigade, click here
If you attend a fire as a firefighter you should wear the Personal Protective Equipment provided by the Shire or boots and overalls or long sleeved shirt and long trousers (non flammable cotton type). You must also let the Fire Control Officer know that you are on scene.
If you are using private plant or equipment at a fire, please click the link below
http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au/internet/upload/shared/docs/FESA_Guidelines_for_OPE.pdf for hints and useful information.
Other Fire Prevention Measures
It is worthwhile taking the following things into consideration to help protect your property from fires:
o Do I have a 20 meter circle around my house clear of flammable materials?
It is recommended that a low fuel area of 20 meters completely around your house is maintained throughout the summer months.
o removing all firewood, timber and fuels (eg petrol) that are near you house.
o Clearing your gutters out regularly
o Removing branches that are overhanging buildings
o Raking up leaves and other debris regularly
This is essential if the property does not have anyone living there during the summer period, to give it the best chance of survival in the event of a bush fire.
Have I complied with the Shire’s Fire Break Order?
The Firebreak order that is sent out with your rates contains information on the minimum requirements that will allow firefighters to effectively fight a fire on your property. It is essential that it is followed for the safety of residents and firefighters alike.
Do I have any firefighting equipment?
Having available firefighting equipment will allow you to help protect your home in the event of a fire. This may be a firefighting unit, knapsack sprayer or firefighting pump that connects to your water tanks in the event of a power failure.
Other equipment that you require include:
o Mobile Phone or telephone that plugs into the wall. While this may sound strange, cordless phones rely on electricity to work. In the event that the power goes out, you will not be able to use these types of phones.
o A battery operated radio can help you keep in touch with what is going on if there is a major incident in the district and the electricity is cut off.
o A firefighting pump which is not dependent upon electricity. It should be kept fitted out to attach your water tanks or have a suction hose to draft from a dam. It should always be fuelled and in working order. Don’t just buy it and throw it in the shed – put it together, become familiar with it and use it every month to give it a run.
o Remember to have hoses on your outside taps to allow either yourself or firefighters protect your property in the event of a fire.
Do I have a plan in the event of a fire?
Now is the time to prepare your property and make the decision to stay and defend your home or go early in the event of a fire. For FESA’s information package on this topic, click here http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au/internet/upload/shared/docs/Stay_Go_Choice3.pdf