Burn-off blunders wasting time

 CFA has issued a strong warning after “careless” landowners failed to fully extinguish their burn-offs.

Private burn-offs left unattended have been keeping CFA crews busy.

Acting chief officer Gavin Freeman described the behaviour as reckless.

“Despite the end of the Fire Danger Period, landowners still need to exercise a high degree of caution when conducting burn-offs,” he said.

“The call-outs of the past weekend have been a waste of CFA’s time and resources.

“Last weekend, CFA crews responded to a ridiculous number burn-offs that were left by careless landowners meaning our crews lost time with their families and their jobs fixing your mistakes.

“Escaped burn-offs or those not conducted properly carry penalties under law.”

Mr Freeman said it was not difficult to conduct a burn-off safely and legally.

“It is important to only burn off when the conditions are right and to check the weather forecast for the day of the burn and for a few days afterwards,” he said.

“You should refrain from burning off on days when hot and windy conditions are forecast.

“It is essential to ensure there are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn safely and effectively.

“Never leave a burn-off unattended.”

He said people should call triple-zero immediately if a burn-off got out of control.

It is also important to check local council laws before lighting up.

Residents must register all burn-offs with ESTA on 1800 668 511.

For more information, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/burning-off.