Autumn Restricted
Burning Period

15 March to 10 May

Spring Restricted
Burning Period

1 November to 14 December

Prohibited
Burning Period

15 December to 14 March

Bush Fire Control & Information

To keep up to date with Total Fire Bans & Harvest Vehicle and Movement Bans, check our Facebook page, Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes.

To view the current 2021/2022 Firebreak and Fuel Hazard Reduction Notice, click here.

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

Bush Fire Control Officers

TITLE NAME CONTACT NUMBER
Chief Fire Control Officer Greg Kennedy 0427 577 821
Deputy Chief Fire Control Officer Chris Doherty 0438 952 202
Shire - Community Emergency Services Manager Lyndon Pearce 0428 611 125
Bridgetown Townsite (Permits) Donna Baker 0457 885 156
Greenbushes Tim Hingston 0427 189 007
Catterick Santo Pratico 0428 644 057
Hester Brook Keith Clothier 0428 611 787
Kangaroo Gully Chris Doherty 0438 952 202
Kangaroo Gully Terry Flambard 0417 093 213
Maranup Hal Reid 0475 268 621
Sunnyside Martin Winchcombe 0427 619 085
Wandillup Robert Moyes 9761 2482
Winnejup Hugh Wheatley 0428 617 054
Yornup Annette Curry 0487 771 565

Total Fire Ban & Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban Information

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

Total Fire Ban (TFB)

A Total Fire Ban is issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. This is usually the day before it comes into effect. The Shire has nothing to do with issuing the Total Fire Ban. If the ban is issued during the working week when the Shire office is open, then the Shire will generally update this information on its website and Facebook page. Outside of office hours, the Shire will not update this information.

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

  • Emergency WA web site
  • ABC local radio

Information about what you can and can’t do on a day declared a Total Fire Ban can be found on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website here.

Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban (HVMB)

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?

  • The Shire will 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 to the Shire and asked 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 this information on 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

If BOTH Total Fire Ban and a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban in Place:

Activities NOT Permitted During the Period of this Ban:

  • Harvesting operations are not permitted.
  • All off-road activity is banned, regardless of whether it is for agricultural purposes or work being conducted by business, industry and public authorities.
  • Off-road includes areas such as paddocks, bushland, uncleared land and land with stubble or long grass refer to regulation 24ZH(2)(b) of the Bush Fires Regulations 1954.
  • Off-road activity includes the use of anything activated by an internal combustion engine being used off-road e.g. motor bikes, quad bikes, excavators, chain saws, ride on lawn mowers and generators.

Activities Permitted During the Period of this Ban:

  • Use or operation of any vehicle on “gazetted roads”, lanes, driveways, yards or other areas that provide access to, or a parking facility at, any residential, farming or business premises, if the area has been sufficiently cleared of inflammable material to prevent the escape of fire (regulation 24A(3) Bush Fires Regulations 1954).
  • Use or operation of a vehicle for the prevention of an immediate and serious risk to the health or safety of a person or livestock, and only if all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent the activity from creating a bush fire danger. (regulation 24A(4) Bush Fires Regulations 1954).
  • Off-road activity for urgent work carried out by an essential service can continue, but only when the prescribed conditions in Division 9 of the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 are complied with. Urgent works, in relation to the provision of an essential service, means repairs or maintenance necessary for the continued provision, or restoration, of the service. Essential services: water supply, sewerage or drainage services; electricity or gas services; telecommunications services; public transport services and rubbish collection or disposal services.

If Only a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is in Place:

Activities NOT Permitted During the Period of this Ban:

  • Harvesting operations are not permitted.
  • Any off-road activity is banned, unless it is for work being conducted by business, industry and public authorities. (See permitted activities below for conditions).
  • Off-road includes areas such as paddocks, bushland, uncleared land and land with stubble or long grass.
  • Off-road activity includes the use of anything activated by an internal combustion engine used off-road e.g. motor bikes, quad bikes, excavators, chain saws, ride on lawn mowers and generators.

Activities Permitted During the Period of this Ban:

  • Use or operation of any vehicle on “gazetted roads”, lanes, driveways, yards or other areas that provide access to, or a parking facility at, any residential, farming or business premises, if the area has been sufficiently cleared of inflammable material to prevent the escape of fire.
  • Use or operation of a vehicle for the prevention of an immediate and serious risk to the health or safety of a person or livestock, and only if all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent the activity from creating a bush fire danger.
  • Off-road activity for urgent work carried out by an essential service can continue, but only when the prescribed conditions in Division 9 of the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 are complied with. Urgent works, in relation to the provision of an essential service, means repairs or maintenance necessary for the continued provision, or restoration, of the service. Essential services: water supply, sewerage or drainage services; electricity or gas services; telecommunications services; public transport services and rubbish collection or disposal services.
  • Off-road use or operation of vehicles, engines, plant or machinery for agricultural purposes or by business, industry or by or on behalf of a public authority in accordance with Regulations 24ZH - 24ZL Bush Fires Regulations 1954.

Firebreak 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 10th May 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 3 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 100mm 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 10th May.

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

Lighting a fire is prohibited between the dates of 15 December to 14 March annually. This includes camp fires.

These dates are subject to change, please check with the Shire before lighting any fires.

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 a Bush Fire

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 event, please click here.

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 the DFES Bushfire Overview, click here.

 

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