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Under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005, Council has an obligation to undertake Fire Prevention measures within its area.
Council is now guided by the Limestone Coast Bushfire Management Committee (LCBMC) who sat for the first time in August 2010. The LCBMC is part of the new two tiered approach, with the State Bushfire Coordination Committee (SBCC) having the legislative responsibility for bushfire management planning in South Australia. Bushfire Management Area Plans will replace the old District Bushfire Prevention Plans.
Each year during the months of October and November, depending on seasonal conditions, properties are assessed for compliance against the Fire and Emergency Services Act and Regulations. If a property needs attention a notice will be issued giving the property owner direction on the requirements. If this notice is not complied with, Council may slash the allotment and/or arrange for a contractor to carry out the work, with the owner being on-charged any associated costs. In addition, an expiation notice may be issued for non compliance of the Act.
Owners and occupiers may also receive notice when it is considered that other fire hazards exist on their property.
Landholders are asked to keep their property clean and free from fire hazards at all times of the year, and particularly during the fire danger season. Please remember that bushfire prevention is an obligation, not an option.
Preparing for the Bushfire Season
It is the responsibility of every South Australian to ensure they are adequately prepared for a Bushfire and know what to do should one occur. The District Council of Grant and the SA Country Fire Service strongly urge the use of a Bushfire Action Plan. Information pamphlets on this are available from the Rural Transaction Centres in Port MacDonnell, Carpenter Rocks and Tarpeena or by contacting your local Council Fire Prevention Officer.
Bushfire Safer Precinct and Refuge of Last Resort
Following recommendations from the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission many changes in Bushfire Management and Control have been implemented in South Australia.
In early 2010 the process of identifying suitable places in our area, that meet the requirements of Bushfire Safer Precincts and Refuge of Last Resort Commenced.
Several areas have been identified in the District Council of Grant. For a list and an explanation of Bushfire Safer Precincts and Refuge of Last Resort please click here
Harvesting Code of Practice
Grant District Council supports the responsible operation of farm machinery. It is recommended that the Grain Harvesting Code of Practice is adhered to.
The Grain Harvesting Code of Practice applies to harvesting of any flammable crop, all grain harvesting and grain handling operations that occur "in the paddock"' including operation of grain harvesters, operation of vehicles involved in transporting grain, grain dryers and grain augers.
For more information please click here.
Combustion of Hay
Spontaneous combustion is almost always due to uneven curing in hay before it is stacked. Hay with a moisture content of less than 25% will not spontaneously ignite. However, a fire hazard is created more often, by small pockets of wet material within a bale.
Ensure that all hay is well cured and dry before stacking. Check especially, hay from areas of lush growth, or (after rain) low lying ground.
If heating in a haystack is suspected, an iron rod or crow bar should be thrust into the stack at intervals and allowed to remain undisturbed for about two hours.
25°- 35°C Comfortable
40° - 50°C Tolerable
55° - 65°C Tolerable to touch only
75°C and above Too hot to touch
Checking temperatures should be undertaken regularly. If the temperature is above 75°C, precautions should be taken in case the stack spontaneously ignites.
If temperature is high, the only solution is to pull the stack apart. Water and firefighting equipment should be on hand to extinguish a possible fire. Hot hay should be placed clear of other flammable material because fires can still occur up to 24 hours or longer from the time of removal from the stack.
Remove dead vegetation from around the home and prune lower limbs of trees.
Obtain Council permit to burn off garden waste, or dispose of the material through mulching or at a Council tip.
Ember-proof the home, eg check roof space for loose tiles and gaps and repair as necessary.
Slash or mow long grass and remove cut material (unless it can rot down before summer).
Remove weeds around sheds and fences.
Cut back trees overhanging the roof.
Remove fallen branches and other debris.
Check and service all mechanical equipment, including grass cutters, water pumps, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers.
Remove leaves from gutters.
Review and update your Bushfire Action Plan.
Maintain a 20-metre fuel reduction zone around your home (greater if on a slope).
Clear around trees.
Remove leaves from the gutters.
Slash stubble near sheds/buildings.
Check reserve water supplies.
Rehearse your Bushfire Action Plan with your family.
Prepare evacuation kit.
Ensure you have a portable battery-powered radio to hear bushfire warnings.
Monitor fire restrictions.
Remove undergrowth and dead vegetation.
Seek Council permission for a burn-off.
Check for any fire hazards and remove.
For current Fire Ban and further Bushfire Prevention information please use any of the following options:
1. Your local CFS office;
2. CFS Bushfire Hotline: 1300 362 361;
3. Council on 8721 0444; or
4. Go to www.cfs.sa.gov.au.