False alarms prompts burn off warning

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False alarms prompts burn off warning

Category : Fire Safety

With the temperature rising over the next couple of days, CFA is urging the community to take extra care when burning off and register their burn with CFA on 1800 668 511.

Since the start of September this year, CFA has responded to 223 burn off related calls across the state which turned which turned out to be false alarms.

“If people register their burn offs, we know what is happening in that area and it really helps us,” CFA State Duty Officer Craig Brownlie said.

“It reduces the chances of CFA being called out to a false alarm when the public calls about a fire they have seen.”

“The community needs to understand that, for the most part, we’re talking about volunteers who have to leave their work or spend time away from their family responding to false alarms.”

Mr Brownlie also said people need to be more careful with their burn offs as the weather heats up.

“The warmer weather over the coming days is just a preview of many more hot days to come and landowners need to take on more responsibility when burning off,” he said.

“Due to favourable growing conditions across Victoria in 2011, there is an above average risk for grassfires for the upcoming fire season.

“Grassfires should not be underestimated – they can be extremely dangerous and cause death, trauma or serious injury.

“A couple of weeks ago when we had one hot, windy day we saw around 60 grass and scrub fires across the State so the risk is very real.”

There are a few simple steps landowners must take when burning off.

  • Be aware of your council burn off by-laws
  • Register the burn with CFA on 1800 668 511
  • Check weather conditions
  • Tell their neighbours when they plan to burn off to avoid brigades being called out unnecessarily by a neighbour or passer by
  • Never leave a burn off unattended

“You should never burn off in hot, dry, windy conditions or if these conditions are forecast within the time your burn off is expected to take,” Mr Brownlie said.

“People should also leave a three metre fire break, free of flammable materials around any burn off.”

If your burn off does get out of control please call ‘000’ immediately.

For more information on fire restrictions and burning off, check www.cfa.vic.gov.au or contact your CFA District headquarters.