Fire restrictions start next week – what you need to know

The fire danger period starts next week and fire restrictions will be enforced.

The fire danger period will begin in the Hepburn, Moorabool and Pyrenees Shires as well as the City of Ballarat from Monday November 27 until May 1, 2018. 

Types of fires and work and use of certain machinery will face strict conditions during the fire danger period. 

The fire danger period is not the same as a day of total fire ban when tougher restrictions are imposed.

Barbecues and Campfires including spit style rotisserie fired by heat beads, wood or other solid fuel and incinerators:

Camp fires and barbecues that require a flame are not to be used unless the wind is not more than 10km/h, the fire is lit in a properly-constructed fireplace or trench at least 30 centimetres deep, three metres from the perimeters of the fire and the uppermost point of the fire is clear of flammable material, the fire is no larger than one square metre and a person is nearby with firefighting equipment. 

Gas-powered wildlife scaring guns:

These guns are not to be used unless the user holds a section 14 permit 

Burning off:

Fires lit for the purpose of burning grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation are not to be lit without a correct permit and someone on standby with firefighting equipment. 

Vehicles in fire danger areas:

Driving a vehicle where it will be in contact with crops, grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is not permissible unless the vehicle is fitted with an efficient silencing device that takes all of the exhaust from the engine.

Chainsaws, plant or grass trimmers and lawn mowers:

Use of this equipment should be avoided during the fire danger period but can be used on green vegetation if the equipment is free from faults that could cause a fire, is fitted with a spark arrester, there is an area of at least 3 metres around the machine cleared of flammable material and a person is on standby with firefighting equipment. 

Hot Work:

Welding, grinding, charring, soldering, gas cutting, using a bee smoker or extracting honey using heat or flame, rail maintenance, and heating bitumen is not recommended during the fire danger period but can be carried out if a fire-resistant shield or guard is in place, hot metal or slag from the fire, an area at least one and half metres from the operation is clear of flammable material or wetted down, a hose connected to a reticulated water supply or water spray knapsack containing at least nine litres of water is nearby, a all cut-offs and hot materials from the operation are placed in fire-proof containers and a person is nearby with firefighting equipment.