Burn off bans eased for season fire safety

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RESTRICTIONS are being eased this month to allow owners of small properties to burn off for fire prevention purposes.

Open air burning is allowed 9am-4pm, Fridays and Saturdays, on land less than 1500 square metres, provided that no more than one cubic metre of vegetation is burnt at any one time; that the fire is not within 10 metres of any neighbouring dwelling, and that general fire safety provisions are followed at all times.

The easing of restrictions on land less than 1500 square metres aims to assist owners of smaller properties reduce fine fuel in the lead up to the fire season.

Mornington Peninsula Shire’s municipal fire prevention officer Katie McKenzie said burn-off material should not be wet, or green, and general fire safety precautions should always be taken.

“This is a great chance to clean up around your property, but ensure you do it responsibly and safely, and keep your neighbours and local authorities informed,” she said.

The general fire safety provisions include warning adjoining landowners or occupiers 24 hours prior to the burn, and calling 1800 668 511 at least two hours prior to the burn to log the fire with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority.

The provisions also include establishing a fire break of no less than three metres cleared of all flammable material; ensuring the fire is supervised by an adult at all times; ensuring there is sufficient fire protection equipment available on site at all times; ensuring the vegetation to be burnt is dead and dry prior to lighting (no green waste), and ensuring the wind speed does not exceed 20 kilometres per hour at the site of the fire.

The eased restrictions do not apply outside of October, when open air burning is prohibited on properties smaller than 1500 square metres.

Open air burning regulations for land of more than 1500 square metres and more than 40,000 square metres remain the same.

Details: Visit mornpen.vic.gov.au/openairburning or call the Environment Protection Unit 5950 1050.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 8 October 2019

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