Fire restrictions declared for Buloke and Ganawarra Shires

The fire danger period for Buloke and Ganawarra Shires will begin from 1am, Monday, November 19, 2012.

CFA Loddon Mallee regional director Pat O’Brien said every member of the community had a responsibility to follow fire restrictions put in place.

During the fire danger period fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from the CFA or from a municipal fire prevention officer.

“Fire restrictions are in place for a very good reason – to prevent fires from starting," he said.

“Loddon Mallee Region CFA, in conjunction with Victoria Police, will not tolerate illegal fires or unsafe burn-offs which occur during the fire danger period. People responsible should expect to be charged and heavy penalties apply.

“Victoria has experienced a lot of wet weather this year. But we are one of the most fire-prone regions in the world and it only takes two weeks of hot, dry and windy weather to create dangerous fire conditions.”

Mr O'Brien warned grassfires could be especially dangerous, especially if the grass was overgrown (10cm or higher) and dried-out. 

He also encouraged farmers to double check machinery prior to harvest.

“Grassfires should not be underestimated; they travel faster than you can run and can kill,” he said.

“It’s not too late to protect your home and property by slashing, mowing, grazing, and spraying grass, and creating fuel breaks by grading or ploughing fuel breaks down to the bare earth.

“Farmers need to ensure their machinery is in a safe condition prior to harvest and that they have a fire extinguisher on their harvesters ready to deal with any machinery fire which might occur. Losing your own crop is bad enough; being the inadvertent cause of a significant loss to your neighbours can be even worse."

The announcement of the fire danger period for Buloke and Ganawarra Shires comes just a day after a man suffered burns to his legs when an angle grinder sparked a small fire at Emu Creek, near Bendigo.

The CFA has already declared that fire restrictions are in place for: Swan Hill Rural City Council; Hindmarsh Shire Council; Yarriambiack Shire Council; Yarriambiack Shire Council; and  Horsham Rural City Council.

Firefighters put out a small fire at Emu Creek. Picture: Peter Weaving

Firefighters put out a small fire at Emu Creek. Picture: Peter Weaving