SA Country Fire Service

MEDIA RELEASE


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CFS and Grain Producers SA LogosLandholders are being urged by to take all necessary precautions to ensure that stubble burnoffs stay under control.

The warning comes from South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) and Grain Producers SA (GPSA) as local councils around the State begin providing permits to landholders to conduct burnoffs during the remainder of the Bushfire Danger Season.

CFS Director Preparedness Operations Leigh Miller said many burnoffs have got out of control in previous years when landholders have not followed the conditions of the permit and taken precautions.

"The conditions of the permit will be particular to your property and will take into account factors such as topography, exposure to wind and stubble type," he said.

Permit conditions include the need to notify listed people no less than two hours before the fire is lit or intended to be lit. This would usually include all adjoining neighbours, an officer of the local council, the local CFS brigade and the person in charge of any nearby government reserve. However, this can vary depending on the time of year and seasonal conditions.

"Burn offs must be supervised at all times because unattended fires can burn out of control and spread into neighbouring properties," Mr Miller said.

"A four-metre break clear of flammable fuel should be established before burning and the person in attendance should have equipment to extinguish the blaze if needed."

"Site specific weather conditions must be obtained before lighting the fire and if unfavourable, the burn should be postponed.

"We recommend that you do not burn when the wind speed, averaged over ten minutes, exceeds 19 kilometres an hour because even moderate wind speeds of 20 to 29km/hr can drive embers ahead of the fire front."

GPSA Chief Executive Darren Arney said landholders could also refer to the Broad Acre Burning Code of Practice for guidelines on how to safely conduct a controlled burn.

He said landholders in areas near vineyards should take particular care when choosing the day for a burnoff and liaise with nearby grape growers.

"Smoke taint can render the grapes and wine that is produced unfit for consumption and sale.

"The greatest potential for smoke uptake is when the grapes soften and ripen before harvest which can vary between January and early May, depending on the district," he said.

For more information and copies of the Broad Acre Burning Code of Practice, go to www.cfs.sa.gov.au  

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For media enquiries telephone the CFS Media Line on (08) 8115 3531.

Further information:
Contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361, for hearing or speech impaired users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 362 361 or teletype service TTY 133 677 then ask for 1800 362 361.
Other options are available at National Relay Service.
Or visit www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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