Fire restrictions

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Fire restrictions vary throughout the year depending on whether or not it is a Declared Fire Season or a Total Fire Ban day. Find up-to-date information on at the CFA website.

Generally, residents should not keep any materials and substances that could start or spread a fire on their property. Residents must ensure that all grass, weeds and scrub on their property are less than 10cm high. It is also illegal to light incinerators in the City of Whittlesea.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Municipal Fire Prevention Officers for the fire district analyse the risk of fire and declare a Fire Season (Fire Danger Period). The Chief Fire Officer for the CFA will declare a Total Fire Ban day when the fire risk is high.

Declared Fire Season

Lighting fires without a permit in a Declared Fire Season is extremely dangerous and will attract severe penalties, including fines and possible imprisonment.

Barbecues

You can still have a gas or electric barbecue during this time as long as you do the following:

  • use a properly constructed barbecue, that is not fuelled by wood, charcoal or briquettes
  • completely clear an area of 3 metres above and around the barbecue
  • ensure a supervising adult is present while the fire is lit
  • check that the wind speed is less than 10km/h
  • do not light the barbecue within 7.5 metres of any log or stump
  • have enough water available to put out the fire

Burning off

Rural areas

If you live on a rural property greater than 0.8 hectares, you can only burn off during a Declared Fire Season if you have a fire permit. You do not require a permit to burn outside of a Declared Fire Season.

Urban areas

If you live in an urban or residential area, or your property is smaller than 0.8 hectares, you must have a fire permit to burn off at any time of the year.

Applying for a permit to burn

You can apply for a fire permit from our Municipal Fire Prevention Officer by downloading, completing and returning an application form with a burn plan. Download the permit to burn application form (PDF - 34KB).

Total Fire Ban days

The CFA declares Total Fire Ban days and announces them the previous night, through all major media outlets. These are days of extreme fire danger with high temperatures and strong winds.

On days of high fire danger, stay informed by listening to ABC 774 or local regional radio.

If travelling on days of high fire danger, listen to the radio and avoid driving in long grass.

You can also contact the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667 to find out about any fires in the area on the day.

On Total Fire Ban days, you must not light any fires, or allow them to remain lit. This includes:

  • campfires
  • barbecues fuelled by wood, charcoal or briquettes
  • outdoor ovens
  • burning off grass or rubbish

You can still use public barbecues, because all the barbecues within our parks are electric and designed for safety. They are located in cleared areas and automatically turn off after 15 minutes of use.

You can still use a portable stove if you follow these strict conditions:

  • use gas or electricity for fuel
  • locate it within 20 metres of a permanent dwelling (caravans, tents and mobile homes are not classified as permanent dwellings)
  • have a hose connected to a water supply nearby and ready for use
  • completely clear all flammable material from the 3 metre area around and above the barbecue
  • ensure a supervising adult is present while the fire is lit
  • have at least 10 litres of water available in case of an emergency

We also advise against all non-essential work, using:

  • chainsaws
  • plant trimmers
  • lawnmowers/slashers
  • welding or grinding tools

For more information about essential work, visit the CFA website.

Lighting fireworks

It is illegal to set off fireworks in a public place without first obtaining a fireworks permit from Council and WorkSafe Victoria.

We may issue a permit as long as it meets certain conditions. For more information, download the:

To apply for a fireworks permit, download the Fireworks permit application form (PDF - 35KB).

Further information

For more information about fire restrictions, phone our Local Laws department on 9217 2100 or visit the Country Fire Authority website.

Last Updated: 17 March 2014