Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 10, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 26 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017
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THE Country Fire Authority’s (CFA)
Fire Danger Period began last month
for Bass Coast and South Gippsland,
but not all property owners are
CFA Group Officer for Bass Coast,
Damien O’Connor, said the Fire Danger
Period is when CFA restricts the use of
fire in the community.
“When it starts depends on the
amount of rain, grassland curing rate
and other local conditions.
“These restrictions will be in place
until May 1, 2017 unless revoked or
varied, ” Mr O’Connor said.
Community members are encouraged
to look at the CFA information sheet,
‘Can I or Can’t I?’, or the CFA website
tions/can/ for answers to commonly
asked questions about lighting fires
during the Fire Danger Period and on
Total Fire Ban Days.
South Gippsland’s Regulatory Ser-
vices manager Matthew Patterson
urged people to seek out the available
information before striking that match.
“Yes, you can have a barbecue or light
your pizza oven during the Fire Dan-
ger Period – unless it’s a declared Total
Fire Ban Day – it’s just that there are
conditions in place to keep us all safe,”
Mr Patterson said.
Bass Coast Shire Council’s general
manager of Healthy Communities and
Governance David Elder said the CFA
information sheet highlights that some
councils have local law conditions on
the use of incinerators.
“In Bass Coast, incinerator fires are
not permitted in residential areas at
any time, ” Mr Elder said.
“We can’t stress enough that lives and
property are put at risk when people
do not comply with fire restrictions
and regulations. ”
If you want further information
on the Fire Danger Period call the
VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226
226 or visit http://emergency.vic.gov.
Information on local laws across the
shires are available online from www.
southgippsland.vic.gov.au for South
Gippsland and www.basscoast.vic.gov.
au/locallaws for Bass Coast.
AUTHORITIES are warning
that the fire season has ar-
rived, and while late, it’s po -
tentially as dangerous as any
Kevin Brown of Gippsland
Fire and Safety said the
chances of nasty fires in early
2017 are unfortunately very
“Most of us are fortunate
in that we do not live in high
bushfire danger areas but the
loss and destruction of prop-
erty and livelihoods from all
types of fires is a risk that
we all have to accept and act
upon, ” he said.
“The Fire Danger Period is
well under way this year, and
now is a good opportunity to
take the time to look around
your house or farm and clean
up any potential fire fuel.
should be lopped and gutters
should be kept clear of all
leaves and twigs, fallen bark
should also be cleaned away
from the base of trees, espe-
cially near buildings. ”
During the Fire Danger Pe-
riod which typically lasts
through to May, special pre-
cautions need to be taken
when working outdoors.
The CFA recommends car-
rying a fire extinguisher or
knapsack on all farm vehicles
over this period.
“The use of grinders, weld-
ers and chainsaws is permit-
ted during the Fire Danger
Period, but among other pre -
cautions it is essential to set
up shields to block sparks,
and to have at hand a re-
ticulated water supply, a fire
extinguisher or a knapsack
holding at least nine litres of
water,” Mr Brown said.
Stone guards and bash
plates which protect areas
such as bearings and exhaust
systems under vehicles need
to be cleared regularly.
Often these collect grass and
seeds and other flammable
material can quickly ignite
when these fuels heat up.
Many fires have been started
from sparks when slashers
have hit rocks or wire; it is
good practice to watch recent-
ly slashed areas for any signs
of smouldering grass.
With the advent of air-condi-
tioned cabins for many farm
vehicles it is possible for the
operator to become isolated
from weather conditions,
noises and smells.
It is good work practice to
stop every now and then and
get out of the air-conditioned
comfort to keep an eye on out-
side influences particularly
the temperature and wind
Mr Brown also recommends
that all your existing fire fight-
ing equipment is checked to
make sure it is in good work-
“All hoses and pressure
should be checked; water in
knapsacks should be pumped
out and replaced.
“All tractors or machinery
likely to come into contact
with grass, stubble, weeds or
other vegetation should be
fitted with a nine litre stored
pressure water extinguisher
or a knapsack.
“There is always the chance
of fires over summer in Victo -
ria, loss of life and property is
a possibility every summer.
“By being aware of some of
the things that can cause fires
and taking action to minimise
the chance of fires beginning,
we are minimising this threat
to ourselves, our loved ones
and our properties.”
More information on what
you can and can’t do on dur-
ing the Fire danger Period and
especially on days of Total
Fire Ban is available from the
CFA website at www.cfa.vic.
All fire extinguishers and
fire fighting products can be
purchased from Gippsland
Fire and Safety by phoning
Kevin Brown on 0419 527
062 or by email at firesafety@
Kevin Brown of Gippsland Fire and Safety said now is
the time to check you have all the equipment you need
including fire extinguishers, pumps and knapsacks before
it’s too late.
Prepared for the season with
Gippsland Fire and Safety
Reduce the fire danger
South Gippsland Shire Council’s Local Laws Officer Graeme Peters at a property that is not comply-
ing with fire safety measures that can cause a fire risk.
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