Fire Watch - Total Fire Ban day 17.01.14

Total Fire Ban: Statewide

UPDATE 8.20PM: THE CFA has downgraded the Carapooee fire to an advice message. 

UPDATE 6.12PM: THE CFA has downgraded the emergency warning at Carapooee to a watch and act. 

UPDATE 5.43PM: BENDIGO fire crews will travel to parts of the Mallee region tomorrow afternoon to provide assistance. 

Crews will leave about lunchtime. 

UPDATE 4.22PM: THE CFA have upgraded the Carapooee fire to an emergency warning. 

The message applies to residents in Emu, Carapooee, Archdale and Biallaba.

The grassfire is fast-moving and out of control.

The fire has now crossed Dunnolly Road.

It is travelling in a south-easterly direction.

UPDATE 4.13PM: CFA have issued a watch and act warning for Carapooee. 

UPDATE 3.54PM: CREWS are attending to fires in Logan, Carapooee and Emu.

Residents in Carapooee has been issued an advice warning.  

Unsure of your fire district - check your here

UPDATE 8AM: POLICE will doorknock In Kennington this morning after a suspicious fire was lit at Brennan Park about 1.30am. 

Sergeant Tony Kekich said 10 to 20 metres of scrub land was burnt. 

Bendigo CFA station officer Brian Suckling said two units took about 10 minutes to put the blaze out. 

Police ask anyone with information to call Bendigo police station on 5448 1300. 

What does a Total Fire Ban mean?

During a Total Fire Ban, subject to exceptions, no fire can be lit in the open air or be allowed to remain alight in the open air between midnight and 11.59pm.

Question: Can I have a barbecue, light a campfire or light a fire for warmth or comfort?

Yes: Barbecues that are fixed appliances. Fired by gas or electricity, being permanently fixed structures built of stone, metal, concrete or another non-flammable material designed exclusively for meal preparation. 

Or barbecues that use only gas or electricity, are designed and commercially manufactured exclusively for meal preparation (including portable barbecues), and when alight are placed in a stable position, provided that: A/ the area within a distance of three metres from the outer perimeter of the barbecue is clear of flammable material. B/ you have either a hose connected to a water supply or a vessel with at least 10 litres of water for immediate use. C/ an adult is there at all times when the fire is alight who has the capacity and means to extinguish the fire. D/ The fire is completely extinguished before the adult leaves.

NO: campfires, fires for warmth or personal comfort are banned during Total Fire Ban days. Solid and liquid fuel barbecues and ovens are also banned during Total Fire Ban days.

Question: I run a meal preparation business (eg. catering), or am a community/charitable/fundraising or similar organisation. Can I set up and light a fire to operate a barbecue or a spit at outdoor functions? 

Yes: But only if you have a written permit issued by CFA or MFB and you comply with the conditions of that permit. 

A community organisation, a charitable organisation or an organisation involved in fundraising (for example, a school or sporting group involved in fundraising) may apply for permission to light a fire to prepare meals for other people in the course of their business. These permits are issued by – and at the discretion of – local CFA District offices, CFA Headquarters or MFB Zone offices. Municipal Fire Prevention Officers cannot issue these permits.

Question: Can I light a fire in the open air for burning off grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation? 

No: All fires in the open air for burning off grass, scrub, stubble or rubbish are banned during Total Fire Ban Days.

Question: Can I drive a vehicle in places where the vehicle will be in contact with crops, grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation?

Yes: But only if the vehicle is fitted with an efficient silencing device (eg. muffler) that takes all of the exhaust from the engine through the silencing device. This should be avoided wherever possible, due to the extreme fire danger posed by dry vegetation and very hot exhaust systems.

Question: Can I use self-propelled farm machinery, tractors, slashers, earth-moving, excavating or roadmaking machines propelled by a heat engine within nine metres of any crops, grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation?

Yes: However, if possible postpone this work as the risk of starting fires is extremely high.

Source: Country Fire Authority

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