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Media Release

Farmers urged to consider safety with stubble fires
Thursday 5 April 2012 – 4:05 PM

Farmers are being asked to closely monitor any stubble fires they carry out after a number of bushfires were sparked by stubble fires in the last month.
Fires can start after the main stubble burn has been completed when winds blow embers onto unburnt ground and bush.
FESA Area Manager Great Southern John Tonkin said that while stubble fires were normal agricultural practice at this time of the year, farmers needed to take responsibility and remain vigilant.
“Although summer has finished the bushfire season is not over yet,” Mr Tonkin said.
“Fuel loads in the south west of the state are high and conditions are still very dry which means that if a bushfire starts it may be difficult for firefighters to bring under control.
“If you are carrying out a stubble burn please make sure that you monitor it closely and remember to mop up and blacken out the edges of the fire afterwards.
“Remember that the default standard for mop up on a permit burn is 30 metres around the edges.”
Mr Tonkin said farmers should also take into account weather forecasts and any fire restrictions in place prior to lighting up.
“Some local governments may have restrictions in place and you may need a permit, so always check with your local government prior to burning,” he said.
“If you are planning to conduct a stubble burn, and the following day is forecast to be warm or windy it may be prudent to delay the burn.
“Irrespective of the forecast, it is a good idea to check stubble burns over subsequent days to ensure there are no sources for re-ignition.
“It only takes one stubble fire to get out of control and you could be looking at a loss of property and life.

“Please help us keep your community safe.”



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