.

By Casey Neill

 Firefighters are explaining new burning off laws to Yarra Ranges residents getting it wrong.

The council finalised the Open Air Burning Local Law on 24 July and placed notices in local newspapers on 7 August.

The Yarra Ranges Council website has been updated with fact sheets detailing the legal requirements regarding burning off in the shire’s three areas – urban, bushland and rural.

But Mount Evelyn Fire Brigade community safety co-ordinator Luke Roy said he was surprised and concerned that many residents were doing the wrong thing.

“It’s great to know that people are getting rid of vegetation fuels before what could be a very challenging summer,” he said.

“We just don’t want residents getting in trouble by the local ranger, or having our volunteer firefighters called out unnecessarily.”

Mr Roy said one key addition was that residents were required to register their burn with ESTA on 1800 668 511 – or risk receiving a fine.

“It’s important they know because we want properties tidied up and excess vegetation fuel gone before the fire danger period arrives,” he said.

“Once CFA’s fire restrictions are in force, there is no open air burning for fuel reduction purposes.

“Based on the global events occurring it could be one hot and early fire season.”

Mr Roy said open air burning on Sundays hadn’t been supported in bushland areas in the Yarra Ranges for at least 10 years.

“Yet driving around you can spot plenty of back yards with piles burning, some even last Sunday when there was a severe wind weather warning across most of the state,” he said.

“People really need to know the rules, consider the risks, and consider the community.”

Mr Roy said he’d prefer neighbours talking to each other to change behaviour, rather than phoning council and residents getting fines.

The council’s social and economic development director, Ali Wastie, said the council received 12 requests for rangers to attend burn-offs across the municipality during business hours.

Three of those were complaints regarding burning off in an urban area, where burning off was prohibited.

Ms Wastie said a community safety officer attended the properties and made contact with residents to resolve the issues.

“One of these residents was using a fire pit for personal warmth,” she said.

“The other properties were sent warning letters as an initial response.”

On Sunday 12 August, five calls were made to the council’s after-hours officer regarding burning off.

“Two of these calls required a response from the officer,” she said.

“We aim to work with our residents, through education, conversations and warnings where appropriate, to help build understanding about the Open Air Burning Local Law, rather than rely solely on infringements.”

Residents should visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/burningoff or call 1300 368 333 with any questions.

 

More News

The Mount Evelyn CFA is stocked with bargains galore. Donated household items will all be up for sale at the ...

Parks Victoria will put Health Rangers in Lysterfield Park to encourage visitors to improve their physical and mental health. Chief ...

Young people and their families will help to plan the services that affect them under a new Yarra Ranges Council ...

 Dandenong Ranges Community Finance has been inducted into Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank Hall of Fame. The company ...

 Walkers will transform Lillydale Lake into a sea of glowing light in a bid to beat blood cancer. Wandin ...

Landowners can register their burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov....

Latest Sport

The XCR18 finale was held around the Tan Track in Melbourne on Saturday 15 September. After nine fun rounds of cross-country ...

 The future of Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club looks to be in good hands if the record numbers attending this ...