Region's fire danger looms with changes to burn permits

REGION - The Country Fire Authority is advising communities and residents of the changes to the issuing of permits to burn stubble.

Northern Grampians Shire Council has commenced issuing permits, with Ararat Rural City and Pyrenees Shire Councils to follow in coming weeks.

CFA District 16 operations manager, Chris Eagle said all three council areas have the same permit conditions, but they have changed since last year.

"The big change is that people can now get a permit that will last for the entire danger period," he said.

"We are looking to encourage people to apply for permits well in advance, rather than when they are ready to burn to alleviate the pressure on shires to issue permits on the day prior to correct weather conditions, thus the change to non-date range limitations on permits."

Conditions (stage 1) for burning are as follows:

Three units.

3600 litres of water.

Six responsible people in attendance.

Three metre break.

14.00 hours ignition (daylight saving time), 13.00 hours (commencing Sunday, April 6).

Permits will be open dated (that is, cover remainder of fire danger period) and are guaranteed to be returned within five business days if approved.

It will be a requirement that a fire break around the entire perimeter is free of flammable material, then mechanically turned.

"When planning to burn off, if landowners could take into account the fire danger of days following the day of the intended burn," Mr Eagle said.

"For example, if they planned to burn on Sunday (and conditions were right (less than 33 degree Celsius and less than 15 kilometre an hour winds), but Monday or Tuesday had expected higher temperatures or higher winds, that consideration be given to delay the burn until the next lull in the weather pattern."

Mr Eagle said for the first time in 70 years the Fire Danger Period has been altered to remain in place an extra month across District 16 until the onset of winter on June 1.

"The Fire Danger Period is in place until midnight on May 31, which is another change from last year," Mr Eagle said.

"It may be lifted prior to this, but it all depends on rain over next few weeks."

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