Bush Fire Control

Bush Fire Control Officers

Chief Fire Control Officer Hugh Browne (08) 9761 1200
Deputy Chief Fire Control Officer Michael Campbell (08) 9761 9002
Shire Chris Sousa 0428 611 125
  Shire Ranger 0428 911 847
Winnejup Hugh Wheatley 0428 617 054
Greenbushes Greg Kennedy 0427 577 821
Wandillup Robert Moyes (08) 9761 2482
Hester Brook David Jenkins (08) 9761 1128
Kangaroo Gully Eric Wheatley (08) 9761 1274
Maranup Andrew Browne (08) 9761 2001
Yornup Michael Campbell (08) 9761 9002
Catterick Santo Pratico 0428 644 057
Sunnyside Murray Waters (08) 9761 1543
Bridgetown Ed Bland (08) 9761 4546

Burning off is now allowed, but common sense still applies. Before lighting up, ensure you have the means to extinguish the fire and contain it to your property, clearance above/around the fire and enough running water and capable people to put it out. Check the weather forecast taking note of wind speed, temperature and humidity. Escaped burns are a serious threat to lives and property and require response from our dedicated volunteer fire fighters.

To view the current 2016/2017 Firebreak Order, click here.

To view the Bridgetown-Greenbushes Safety Information Booklet, click here.

 

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 15 November 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.

MANAGED LAND

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.

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 above.  If the Fire Control Officer in your area is not available, contact the Shire Office during hours of business.

Prohibited Burning Period

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

Roadside Burning
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.

Attending Fires
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, please contact your local Fire Control Officer.

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.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/BushfireManualsandGuides/FESA-Bushfire-GuidelinesforOperatingPrivateEquipment.pdf

Other Fire Prevention Measures
It is worthwhile taking the following things into consideration to help protect your property from fires:

  • 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.

  • This includes
  • Removing all firewood, timber and fuels (eg petrol) that are near you house.
  • Clearing your gutters out regularly
  • Removing branches that are overhanging buildings
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the link below:

http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/Pages/default.aspx