Total Fire Bans: are declared by the Minister during times of extreme weather conditions, environmental vulnerability or when widespread fires are impacting heavily on resources. The bans limit activities that are likely to cause a fire.
Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban: are declared by the Local Authority’s Chief Bush Fire Control Officer and relates to activities and operations of machinery or plant equipment that is likely to cause a fire when operated near flammable material, dry grass, stubble or bush.
Driving vehicles over paddocks may result in a spark or hot exhaust igniting dry grass or bush, similarly operating abrasive cutters or welders in open air that may also cause sparks that may ignite adjacent vegetation. Vehicles are still permitted to travel along graded gravel tracks or roads but are banned from leaving the tracks to drive over a paddock or bush area.
On a day the City of Swan Chief Bush Fire Control Officer declares a Harvest and Vehicle Movement ban, the following applies according to regulation 38A of the Bush Fires Act (Restricted and Prohibited Burning Times)
Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban notifications are available by calling the City of Swan Fire and Emergency Information Line on 9267 9326.
Information will also be broadcasted on ABC Radio frequency 720am at the following times: 10:05am, 1:05pm and 2:05pm. The following applies during a Harvest and Movement Ban declaration:
Activities NOT PERMITTED during a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban
- Harvesting operations are not permitted;
- Any “hot works” (e.g. welding, grinding, cutting, heating etc) in the “open air” is not permitted;
- Operation or use of any engine, vehicle, plant, equipment or machinery in the area likely to cause a bush fire or contribute to the spread of a bushfire. This includes and is not limited to road registered passenger vehicles, trucks, front end loaders, excavators, bulldozers, tractors, cherry pickers, chainsaws, line trimmers, generators etc in fire prone areas consisting of bush land and vegetated areas or dry grass paddocks.
Activities PERMITTED during a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban
- Movement of Vehicles on “gazetted roads” (as described in Bush Fires regulation 24A(1) and Road Traffic Act 1974 section 5.1);
- Movement of vehicles on a lane, driveway, yard or other area that provides access to, or a parking facility at, any residential, farming or business premises, if the area has been sufficiently cleared of inflammable material to prevent the escape of fire;
- Use or operation of a vehicle if it is for the prevention of an immediate and serious risk to the health or safety of a person or livestock, and only if all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent the activity from creating a bush fire danger;
- Use or operations of vehicles and undertaking of “hot works” by those persons holding a current Exemption under Bush Fires Act 1954 s. 22C (Exemption from Total Fire Bans).
Total Fire Bans – Declared by the Minister
During a Total Fire Ban you MUST NOT:
- Light a fire in the open air;
- Cook outside with a solid fuel fire in the open air, this includes pizza ovens or wood heaters under patios and alfresco areas;
- Light a camp fire;
- Burn materials in an incinerator;
- Conduct a Fire Works Display;
- Operate front end loaders, excavators, bulldozers or similar type machinery in fire prone areas consisting of bush land and vegetated areas or dry grass paddocks;
- Operate chainsaws, line trimmers/brush cutters, hedge cutters, generators and similar combustion engine machinery in fire prone areas consisting of bush land and vegetated areas or dry grass paddocks;
- Move vehicles across paddocks;
- Undertake “Hot Work” such as metal work: welding, grinding or similar operations unless you have obtained an exemption from DFES under section 22C Bush Fire Act 1954.
During a Total Fire Ban you are permitted to:
- Use a gas barbeque with an enclosed flame at home or utilise barbeques in areas designated and sign posted for that use by the Local or State Authority, must be attended at all times and surrounded by a 5 metre area clear of flammable materials;
- Undertake essential watering and feeding of animals. Situations involving animal welfare are automatically exempt provided measures have been put in place to prevent the ignition of a fire;
- Operate chainsaws, line trimmers/brush cutters, generators and similar combustion engine machinery in green urban areas free of flammable material or dry vegetation, but not in fire prone areas consisting of bush land and vegetated areas or dry grass paddocks;
- Operate frontend loaders, excavators and bulldozers in metropolitan areas free of dry or flammable vegetation;
- Conduct operations with a DFES exemption under 22C of the Bush Fires Act 1954 in accordance with conditions outlined within the exemption;
- Smoking is permitted provided cigarette and cigars a properly extinguished and disposed of. Disposing of cigarette butts from a vehicle normally attracts a $5,000 fine during limited burning periods and increases up to $25,000 during a Total Fire Ban.
Fines of up to $25,000 or imprisonment apply for offences relating to Total Fire Bans. Exemptions through may be granted for essential community services provided criteria is met, for more details contact FESA.
Information on Total Fire Bans and Activation is Available:
- On the DFES website
- Broadcast on ABC local radio frequency 720am and other media outlets
- On DFES information line: 1300 657 209