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Rural and Farm Fire



Pastoral Land Management

DFES has developed a program to assist pastoralists in the Kimberley and Pilbara to develop fire management plans on their stations and provides comprehensive guidance to landholders on how to set up controlled burns.

Following an initial discussion between DFES and the pastoralist a detailed map of the station is provided using information based on:

  • Vegetation type
  • Soil type
  • Infrastructure and topography
  • Cultural heritage
  • Environmental issues in the area such as declared rare flora, priority species and threatened ecological habitats
  • Stock carrying capacity
  • Fire history of the property

As part of the plan the pastoralist advises DFES on their current fire management practices including the location of any firebreaks and fences on the property. They also advise DFES about any other such as the proposed location of future firebreaks and controlled burns.

This information is mapped and becomes a key part of the station’s bushfire management plan.

To contact your local DFES district office in the Kimberley or Pilbara click here for more information.

Click here to view a Landgate animation that shows the spread of bushfires in the 2016 Kimberley bushfire season (YouTube link).

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Crop Fire Safety

Fires are more likely to occur on farms during harvest given the movement of machinery and vehicles through cropped paddocks.

Many of these fires could be prevented by taking some simple fire safety steps, conducting regular maintenance checks and keeping headers clean during harvest.

Modern harvesters have many potential ignition sources which require regular servicing and close monitoring such as:

  • Bearings
  • Hot exhausts
  • Turbochargers
  • Electrical circuits
  • Belts.

Dry straw, dust, chaff, oil and leaking distillate are the perfect fuels.

Keeping headers free of these fuels is important to prevent fires.

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Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans

Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans are issued by local governments. DFES provides this information for your general assistance.

It is your responsibility as a harvester operator to be aware of any bans in place before harvesting as you could be fined for breaching a ban.

A Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is a ban that individual local governments are responsible for issuing under the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 Section 38A, and/or Section 24C.

Local government will impose the ban when their Bushfire Control Officer is of the opinion that the use of engines, vehicles, plant or machinery during the prohibited burning times or the restricted burning times or both is likely to cause a fire or contribute to the spread of a bushfire

These prohibited and restricted burning times vary between the individual local governments but as a guide generally extend over the traditional summer period from October through to April.

A Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban may be imposed for any length of time but is generally imposed for the ‘heat of the day’ periods and may be extended or revoked by the local government should weather conditions change.

The responsibility remains on the individual to ensure that any activity undertaken is not likely to start a fire and that a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is currently not in place in their local government area.

Local governments (LGs) have different ways to inform the community when a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban has been imposed, you can check the particular local government’s website, in some cases you can sign up with you LG for an SMS alert, or you can contact your local government directly and ask for their Bushfire Control Officer or Ranger Services.

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