ECHUCA Fire Brigade is reminding residents to register their burn-offs as COVID-19 restrictions see more people taking the opportunity to clean up their properties.
Six thousand more burn-offs across Victoria were registered with Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) between the start of May and the end of August, new data shows.
Echuca CFA captain Rob Amos said registering burn-offs was important as it meant volunteer firefighters were not called out unnecessarily when someone reported smoke, as reports were cross-referenced with ESTA’s register.
“Also notify your neighbours that they may see smoke as false alarms which take CFA firefighters away from real emergencies which can be very frustrating for our crews,” he said.
Mr Amos said people carrying out burn-offs on their private properties needed to follow basic rules, such as checking the weather conditions, monitoring the wind, and following local council laws and regulations.
“Check fire restrictions, as well as the weather forecast not only on the day but the days following,” he said.
“With a lot of burn-offs, the weather is the biggest factor. If it’s a windy day, I would really question whether it’s a good idea.
“Ensure you have a 3m fire break and have sufficient water and resources on hand to fully extinguish the fire and get on the phone straight away if the fire gets out of control.”
Mr Amos said decent rain over the winter months could mean a slight delay to the start of the fire season compared to recent years.
“It’s pretty green out there at the moment and there’s still rain forecast so that may push back the fire season,” he said.
“CFA is carrying out grassland curing in the next week and that will govern when the fire danger period comes in.”
And once the fire danger period comes into effect, the window to carry out a burn-off without a permit closes.
“The best way to defend your homes is to prepare before the fire danger period begins,” he said.
Register your burn-off with ETSA by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing [email protected]
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