Bush Fire Control & Prevention

The following information is abbreviated from Council’s policies on fire control. 

Burning Times

Restricted Burning Times

  • 30th September to 31st October and
  • 1st February to 15th March inclusive

Prohibited Burning Times

  • 1st November to 31st January inclusive

Burning on Sundays and Public Holidays

There will be no burning within the Shire of Bruce Rock on a Sunday or gazetted public holiday during the restricted burning period.

The Chief Bush Fire Control Officer and Deputy Chief Bush Fire Control Officer, may also, at their discretion place a ban on burning on other days if they deem sufficient emergency fire services may not be available within the Shire.

Example would include;

  • Easter Saturday- while not a public holiday it is common for volunteer services to be away over Easter
  • When volunteers have been called to assist at a fire ground in another Shire or district, leaving limited local services remaining.

Fire Breaks

Pursuant to the powers contained in Section 33 of the Bushfires Act 1954, you are hereby required on or before 25th October and thereafter up to and including 15th March to have firebreaks clear of all inflammable material in accordance with the following;

  1. Rural lands, being all land outside townsites, firebreaks are required to be –
    1. Not less than three metres wide for each 400Ha area inside, and within 10 metres of the external boundaries.
    2. Not less than three metres wide and within three metres of the perimeter of all boundaries and / or haystacks, or groups of buildings
  2. Townsite land (Meaning all land within the gazetted townsites of Bruce Rock, Shackleton, Ardath and Babakin.) 
    1. Where the area of land is 2,000 square metres or less. All inflammable materials from the whole of the land are to be slashed, ploughed, scarified, cultivated or chemically treated so as to negate any potential fire hazard. This is to be done by reducing any vegetation fire hazard to a maximum height of 10cm. All slashed material is to be removed.
    2. Where the area of the land is more than 2,000 square metres, a firebreak of not less than three metres in width, immediately surrounding any building or not less than three metres wide inside, along and within two metres of the external boundaries of the land is required. Firebreaks must be constructed and contained within the property: footpaths and roads or road verges will not be accepted as firebreaks.
  3. Fuel pumps and depots – remove all inflammable material from all land where fuel drum ramps or dumps are located and where fuel drums, whether containing fuel or not, are stored to a distance of at least five metres outside the perimeter of any drum, ramp or stack of drums.

The Acts referred to a) to c) herein must be performed to the satisfaction of the duly authorised officer of the Shire of Bruce Rock.

The penalty for failing to comply with this Notice is a fine of $5,000 or a prescribed penalty of $250 on service of an infringement notice and a person in default is also liable whether prosecuted or not to pay the cost of performing the work.

Harvest and Movement of Machinery Ban

Harvest bans will be placed after tests are completed by the Fire Weather Officers or their representatives.

32 on the McArthur Grassland Meter (MGM) is considered high by the Shire of Bruce Rock and a Harvest and Movement of Machinery Ban shall be placed when a reading on the MGM is at or above 32.

Council will enforce a “Harvest Bans”, and “Movement of Vehicle Ban” Vehicles will only be allowed in paddocks for the purpose of tending and watering of livestock.

The Harvest Ban Hotline 9061 1600 will be updated and an SMS will also be sent out with the placing or lifting of any bans.

When a fire (harvest related or not) breaks out within, or extremely close to, the Shire of Bruce Rock, an immediate harvest ban will be placed within the Shire of Bruce Rock following consultation with the Chief Bush Fire Control Officer (“CBFCO”) or a delegated person. If the CBFCO or Deputy CBFCO cannot be contacted, the ban will be placed at the discretion of the CEO or DCEO.

Movement of Vehicles in Paddocks - can occur during a harvest ban if the movement is for tending of livestock and there are two able bodied persons and a tanker of 400L of water.

Fire Permits

All Fire Permits are to be issued from the Shire Office and no permits are to exceed 5 days. Permits can be faxed if unable to attend during office hours.
Requirements listed on the permit are;

  1. Subject to suitable weather conditions. Please check with Bureau of Meteorology in Perth for Fire Danger Rating or check www.bom.gov.au/wa/forecasts/fire-danger.shtml & go to Forecasts, Bushfire Danger & Forecast for South West Land Division for Jilbadgie or telephone 9842 2616 as cannot burn on “very high”, “severe”, “extreme” or “catastrophic rated days.
  2. Before setting fire the permit holder shall arrange for and provide, in order to assist in keeping the fire under control and preventing it from spreading beyond the land on which the burning is to take place, at least 3 able-bodied persons who shall be constantly in attendance at the fire from the time it is lit until no burning or smouldering fuel is within 30 metres of the perimeter of the firebreak surrounding the burnt area or, if there is no such firebreak, within 30 metres of the perimeter of the burnt area (r.15B (6)).
  3. Notify all adjoining land owners or occupiers (r.15B (4))
  4. Must be equipped with adequate water supplies for duration of fire
  5. Must have a UHF radio that is operational
  6. Must read and abide by ALL accompanying conditions of permit

The Shire of Bruce Rock reserves the right to cancel any open permits at their discretion. Permit holders will be contacted if this occurs.