Fire Ban Friday Part II

Published on Friday, 28 January 2022 at 4:00:00 PM

Image credit: Department of Fire & Emergency Services

Our Community Emergency Services Manager, Lyndon Pearce, would like to share some information on the difference between fire bans in the Shire.  Last week we touched on a Total Fire Ban, today we explore Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans (HVMB).

In addition to the conditions on the Shire Firebreak notice, you may also be legally restricted with certain activities when Total Fire Bans or Harvest Vehicle Movement Bans are issued. These two bans are totally different from each other and one can be issued without the other or they can be on at the same time. It’s important to understand the difference between the two ban types, who issues them and what you can and can’t do if they are in effect.

A Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is issued by the Shire through the Chief Bush Fire Control Officer (CBFCO). This ban is issued either due to fire response resourcing issues (our fire trucks are very busy) or if the weather is particularly dangerous for fires. The predicted weather is assessed against a scientific formula that takes into consideration factors such as the wind speed, temperature, humidity, drought factor and fuel curing.

If the calculation is above a certain value then the CBFCO will place a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban on for those parts of the day where it exceeds this value. If the conditions change then these times may be changed. The calculation is used rather than just guessing or deciding it’s a “hot day” to be fair to all residents in the Shire, while at the same time provide as much security from fire as is reasonably possible. This is why the notification for a HVMB is generally only done on the morning of the ban.

How to do I find out if there is a HVMB on?

  • We always send a text message to a list of persons when a HVMB is issued. To get your name on this list, please call or write us and ask to be placed on this list. Only residents with justifiable reasons will be added to the list (e.g. farmers, relevant business owners, etc.)
  • If the ban is issued during the working week when the Shire office is open, then the Shire will generally update its website and Facebook page. Outside of office hours, the Shire will not update this information on their Facebook page or web site.
  • The Shire will broadcast a message over the Fire Radio system to Bush Fire Brigade members with Fire radios.
  • The Shire emails ABC radio and the ban will be broadcast on the day of the ban over ABC radio

View our Bush Fire Control & Information webpage to learn of the activities not permitted during this type of ban.

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