As the weather begins to heat up around the state, Ballarat residents are being urged to take the right steps to avoid a repeat of last year’s destructive fire danger period.
The CFA has declared this year’s fire restriction period will begin on Monday and run through to May 1, 2017 for the Ballarat region.
Ballarat City Fire Senior Station Officer David Mounier encouraged residents to continue to clean up and remove fire hazards, such as long grasses and leaves, from their properties in preparation for summer.
“Even though we’ve had rain, it will dry out,” he said.
“We urge residents in the City of Ballarat to make use of their green bins. It’s a great option, rather than burning off.”
For those who do go ahead with burns, permits will be required.
“We’ve been fortunate enough we’ve had heavy rainfall … but it’s had a significant affect on the growth of native and pastoral grasslands,” Senior Station Officer Mounier said.
“(Which means) There is lots of available fuel. We urge (those burning off) to take extra care.”
He also encouraged residents to bear in mind the weather conditions in the days following their planned burn.
Senior Station Officer Mounier said a change in weather could allow embers, which may seem to be out, to grow and spark larger fires nearby.
Those wishing to burn-off this fire restriction period will need to apply for a permit to burn through the City of Ballarat council.
Burning-off without a permit may result in legal action, with possible fines up to $17,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment.
Residents with burning-off permits are also urged to register their burn with CFA Burn-off Notifications on 1800 668 511.
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