FIRE restrictions come into force on the Mornington Peninsula and in Frankston on Monday 18 December.
This means fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from the CFA or Mornington Peninsula Shire’s and Frankston’s municipal fire prevention officers.
Lighting a fire in the open without a permit can bring a penalty of $22,000 and/or 12 months jail.
Barbeques and fires for cooking and warmth do not need a permit, but must be lit in properly constructed fireplaces.
I incinerators, chainsaw and lawn mowers, welding and grinding equipment and vehicles that come in contact with vegetation and machinery with internal combustion engines are permitted under certain conditions.
A total fire ban declaration means no fires can be lit for the declared district for that day unless there is a specific exemption or special permit issued. This applies irrespective of the Fire Restriction status for a given municipality. Further details at cfa.vic.gov.au/can.
The timing of the fire restrictions by the CFA is based on local conditions and takes account of fuel moisture, fuel loads, grassland curing, weather and rainfall.
“It is important to undertake mitigation work, including slashing, grading and general property clean-ups before the fire danger ratings increase,” CFA District 08 operations manager Mic Hembrow said.
“Avoid burning off when high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards.”
Mr Hembrow said fires which damaged someone else’s property were a crime. “Even if you have a permit to use fire over the fire danger period, make sure you read the conditions carefully. Failing to follow just one of those conditions may leave you open to prosecution,” he said.
Information about lighting fires is available at cfa.vic.gov.au/can or by calling VicEmergency 1800 226 226. All burn-offs should be registered with the VicFire Burn-off notification line on 1800 668 511.