Farmers warned to take precautions
With Total Fire Bans in the Northwest Pastoral and West Coast tomorrow, along with potential fire bans across the state for the following two days, SA Country Fire Service (CFS) is warning farmers to take precautions while harvesting.
The Voluntary Grain Harvest Code of Practice has been in place for several years and provides good guidelines for farmers to follow to ensure their safety.
"By ensuring the Grass Fire Danger Index (GFDI) is below 35 and following the Code of Practice farmers can take steps to ensure a fire doesn't start, or if it does it can be extinguished quickly," CFS State Coordinator Mark Thomason.
"There's been a decrease in harvest fires since the Code of Practice was introduced but we all need grain farmers to continue to be vigilant to ensure we decrease the occurrence of harvest fires even more."
"Farmers and operators are encouraged to clean down between loads and ensure all maintenance is carried out in a regularly, this will mean good header hygiene."
"If a farm fire unit is sent to fight a fire off site, harvesting and associated activities should stop until the unit returns to the paddock with its water supply replenished."
The CFS encourages all harvest operators to use the Code whether their operations are within the prescribed Fire Danger Season or not. CFS also recommends the use of the tips and tricks from the Grains Research and Development Corporation's 'Harvest Operations Back Pocket Guide'.
More information on the Voluntary Grain Harvesting Code of Practice can be found on the CFS website - cfs.sa.gov.au, from your Regional CFS Office or Grains Producers SA.