A small number of permits will be issued
CFA is preparing to issue a small number of Schedule 13 planned burn permits to farmers around Ballarat, Ararat and surrounds to help with farming practices in broadacre farming.
This will be undertaken on a risk-based approach where these permits will be issued with several set conditions that landowners need to comply with when undertaking the burning activity.
District 15 Assistant Chief Fire Officer Lachlan Redman said landowners would be the ones predominately using these permits and conducting private-burn offs.
He said this does not include burning off piles of trees and branches, which sit within a different schedule.
“Private burn-offs are part of vital farming practices where burning of crop stubble is often needed to kill off weeds and reduce pests,” ACFO Redman said.
“Where we see a change in weather conditions, wind and temperature, which in turn increase the fire risk, the issuing of these Schedule 13 permits will be withdrawn and any current permits that are issued may be revoked.
“We’re able to support this at the moment due to the unseasonable weather conditions that have allowed this to occur earlier than expected.
“Please be advised we are still in the Fire Danger Period and no burning off is to occur unless people have received a permit.
“You may see a large amount of smoke in areas where these activities may take place, and as part of the permit conditions, farmers must notify Triple Zero Victoria and the local fire brigade captain prior to lighting the burn.”
Burn offs must always have someone in attendance and current and forecasted weather conditions need to be monitored and within the prescriptions for this burn to still continue.
A condition of the permit is that farmers must notify their neighbours and others nearby who may be sensitive to smoke so they can take necessary precautions.
Landholders are reminded to remain vigilant the day after the activity has been conducted. Inspections on site will occur periodically during the burns.
You can apply for Schedule 13 permits via the fire permits website, firepermits.vic.gov.au, which includes a notification to Triple Zero Victoria.