WA BAL Report are committed to preventing loss of property and life from bushfires. This means conducting bushfire attack level assessment reports for those living in bushfire-prone areas. However, if you live in a bushfire-prone area, it is likely you will be required to do more to prepare yourself for a bushfire.
From time to time, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) implements total fire bans (TFB), forbidding the use of fires. On these days, the DFES considers that the risk of using fires in the open is too high. Total fire bans are declared on days when fires will be difficult to control, are most likely to threaten lives and property, or when widespread fires are impacting the availability of resources. The DFES consults with the Bureau of Meteorology and makes the decision based on the weather forecast. DFES also consults with local governments that would be affected.
Total Fire Bans affect everyone, whether you live in the bush or in a built up area. They are a prevention measure to warn you of a day of predicted adverse fire weather. On a day where a TFB is in place, you need to ensure you will not cause a fire to start. The TFB will be in place from 12:01am until 11:59pm on the day declared. The penalties for ignoring a TFB could be up to a $25,000 fine and/or 12 months’ imprisonment.
During a total fire ban, a person must not:
- Light, maintain or use a fire in the open air or
- Carry out an activity in the open air that causes or is likely to cause a fire
This includes the use of hot works, such as welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting, all open solid fuel fires for the purpose of cooking or camping, or the use of incinerators and other activities. You may be permitted to use a BBQ in some circumstances. BBQs that use a solid fuel like wood or charcoal cannot be used, however gas BBQs can be used if they have an enclosed flame and all flammable material is cleared 5 metres away, the BBQ is not left unattended. Electric BBQs can also be used where there is no flame.
Some activities may be exempted by DFES, depending on their nature and if it can be shown you are taking proper steps to prevent any fire spreading, and you can control and extinguish any fire that may start. To find out if an activity is banned on a TFB day, contact DFES.
To find out if a TFB has been declared, you can check the DFES website at dfes.wa.gov.au or by calling 1800 709 355, listening to the ABC local radio and other media outlets, consulting roadside Fire Danger Rating signs or subscribing to RSS.
For more information
WA BAL Report are accredited Level 1 BAL Assessors and are experts at conducting Bushfire Attack Level Assessment Reports and bushfire prevention in general in Perth and Western Australia. For more information, contact our friendly staff on 08 6114 9356 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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