Controlled burn permits will be granted under specific circumstances, but authorities are warning residents that fire restrictions remain in force.
The City of Ballarat has started to issue permits to landowners needing to burn for farming purposes.
The permits are very restricted and allow farmers to prepare land for future cropping.
Burning on farm land allows farmers to prepare the land for future cropping.
The permits have very strict guidelines; if the permit holder fails to meet the permit conditions they can be held liable, and are subject to significant penalties.
During the process of a permit burn Council’s authorised officers will inspect sites to ensure all conditions are met; non-compliance of a permit will result in the CFA and Victoria Police being notified of the breach and the permit being cancelled.
Failure to comply with conditions may result in fines of over $18,600.00, and, or, 12 month’s imprisonment.
Permits will not be issued for piles of green waste or general waste.
Mayor Samantha McIntosh said it was important the community were aware that some burns could take place.
“Often you will find there is a lot of panic and unnecessary panic when it is a controlled burn and people are following regulations,” Cr McIntosh said.
“The only permits granted are for broad acre burning.
Council’s fire prevention officer Mark Cartledge said police and firefighters would be enforcing restrictions.
“They have very strict guidelines – permits are inspected by fire compliance officers. Fail to comply will result in police and CFA being called,” Mr Cartledge said.
“We don’t issue permits to burn green waste or general waste in the backyards of property.
“At the moment we are starting to get a lot of green pick – if we leave it a lot longer the farmers wont be able to burn or they will have to spray the crops out to get the nice clean burn.”
CFA operations officer Anthony Pearce said firefighters remained frustrated by members of the public who continued to flout fire restrictions.
“It still frustrates us that people think it’s OK to light fires and burn off rubbish. It still occurs regularly,” Mr Pearce said.
”As we continue with this long hot dry spell without rainfall the fire danger is still there. The landscape is dry, the fuel is there. All we need is wind and ignition and we will be dealing with out of control fires.”