Total Fire Ban changes to better cater for the needs of farmers
Legislative changes that take effect from midnight tonight will allow farmers more flexibility during Total Fire Bans to continue vital activities that contribute to their livelihood.
Agricultural activity can now continue until your Local Government places a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban.
FESA Acting Chief Operations Officer Lloyd Bailey said the changes were a good outcome to cater for the needs of farmers without increasing the bushfire risk.
“The changes will allow farmers to continue day to day farming activities in their local area under a Total Fire Ban until their shire deems it unsafe to continue based on local conditions,” Mr Bailey said.
The changes have been made after a consultation process with local governments and primary producers.
Certain activities likely to create a bushfire danger such as grinding or metal cutting using a cut-off saw are still not permitted during a Total Fire Ban.
Farmers must still comply with local government by-laws that require a firefighting vehicle to be in the vicinity during harvesting.
Mr Bailey said the declaring of Total Fire Bans was an important prevention measure and urged everyone to be aware of what they can and can’t do when one is declared.
“While these changes apply to the agricultural community, Total Fire Bans are something every Western Australian needs to be aware of in order to reduce the risk of fires this summer,” he said.
Detailed information on Total Fire Bans is available on the FESA website at www.fesa.wa.gov.au
Information on Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans is available from local government offices.
Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs on 9225 5955.
DURING A TOTAL FIRE BAN YOU CAN:
• Use an electric BBQ
• Use a gas BBQ with an enclosed flame
• Use a gas or electric BBQ in a local park, if strict conditions are followed
• Use a chainsaw, grass trimmer or lawn mower in built up areas
• Use a generator in built up areas
• Use equipment and machinery in built up areas
Provided a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is NOT in place, farmers can continue to:
• Harvest crops
• Auger/grist grain
• Move or load livestock
• Feed or water livestock
• Service farm machinery
• Drive vehicles on internal farm tracks and across paddocks
• Move hay or field bins
DURING A TOTAL FIRE BAN YOU CAN NOT:
• Perform grinding, welding or other forms of ‘hot works’ in the open air
• Light, maintain or use a fire in the open air
• Carry out an activity in the open air that causes or is likely to cause a fire
• Use a solid fuel BBQ, requiring wood or charcoal
• Burn leaves, garden waste and grass cuttings, or use an incinerator