Colac Otway Shire Council - Burning off, incinerators and other fire laws
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   Page Last Updated:
 Friday, 23 May 2014
 Home>Emergency Management and Fire Prevention>Fire Prevention>Burning off, incinerators and other fire laws  
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Burning off, incinerators, bonfires and fireworks are all regulated by State and Local Laws. A number of conditions apply for carrying out any of these and Permits may also be required to be obtained prior to starting.

Inside the fire danger period
No burning off can occur without a permit

To burn off during the Fire Danger Period a permit is required prior to a burn.  For small (domestic) burns a Schedule 13 Permit is required for burning off (including using an incinerator) and can be obtained from Council's Fire Prevention Department.  Council encourages people to preplan their burns and to talk to Council's Fire Prevention Officer early.  Although Council will work hard to respond to applications within 24 hours, it may take up to 5 working days to process your application.   The reason for this is that in many cases a site inspection is required, particularly if it is located in a high risk area.  This cannot always be done straight away as during the Fire Danger Period, Officers are committed to undertaking property inspections as part of our Fire Inspection Program.  When planning a burn, please allow time for Council to assess your application. 

For large scale burns a Schedule 14 Permit is required to be applied for through the CFA.  For further information please contact the local CFA office on 03 5232 1923. 
Outside the fire danger period
Outside of the fire danger period burning off may be carried out without a permit, however a number of conditions still apply.  The Summary Offences Act makes it an offence to leave a fire unattended.  Any person who lights a fire is legally responsible for the fire and liable for any damage it may cause.

Council has local laws (Refer General Local Laws - Page 25) to control burning off and managing smoke.  To protect your own interests, Council recommends you take the necessary precautions to prevent adverse consequences of fire and that you make yourself aware of the rules that apply to you in order to avoid significant fines, imprisonment or other penalties associated with the breaching of fire related laws.
Burning by Individuals in Designated Township Areas
OUTSIDE OF THE FIRE DANGER PERIOD - (Designated Town Maps are located below)

Under Section 65 of Colac Otway Shire's General Local Law No. 2, a person must not, in a Designated Township Area, unless given permission by an Authorised Officer:

- Light;

- Allow to be lit; or

- Allow to remain alight

A fire in the open air or in an incinerator on any day, other than a Friday or Saturday between the hours of 10.00am and sunset.
Did you know?
 You can only burn off in residential areas on a Friday and Saturday between 10am and sunset (a Permit must be obtained during the FDP)
 You are not allowed to burn offensive material such as plastics, paints, oils or other products that may give off offensive by-products
 You can still be required to extinguish a fire by a Fire Officer, Police Member or Council Officer even outside the FDP
 You can still be criminally prosecuted if you light a fire legally and it causes damage to the property of another person
 You cannot leave a fire unattended at any time.

Lighting a fire and your responsibilities
 Place a fire break cleared of flammable material around the burn pile
 Don't burn under trees, power lines or immediately against a fence
 Don't burn on days of strong winds
 Always have a hose or other water source on hand to put out any fires that may be offending the legal requirements above
 Check with CFA and Council to ensure you are aware of all the conditions
 Let your neighbours know you will be burning off
 Let the 000 operators know you are having your burn off by completing a Burn Off Notification Form
 Contact VicFire Burnoff on 1800 668 511 to advise of your burnoff

Fireworks are considered explosives and require a permit from Worksafe Victoria.  The Summary Offences Act requires that Council approves use of fireworks in the municipality.  In addition to Worksafe penalties of tens of thousands of dollars for individuals, fireworks are also a type of fire and attract all the penalties associated with burning off.

Please check with Worksafe and Council prior to using fireworks
Designated Township Areas
The following maps show the Designated Township Areas as applied to Council's General Local Law No 2, Section 65:
  Alive Designated Township Area
  Apollo Bay Designated Township Area
  Barwon Downs Designated Township Area
  Beeac Designated Township Area
  Beech Forest Designated Township Area
  Birregurra Designated Township Area
  Carlisle River Designated Township Area
  Colac/Elliminyt Designated Township Area
  Coragulac Designated Township Area
  Cororooke Designated Township Area
  Cressy Designated Township Area
  Forrest Designated Township Area
  Gellibrand Designated Township Area
  Kennet River Designated Township Area
  Lavers Hill Designated Township Area
  Marengo Designated Township Area
  Pirron Yallock Designated Township Area
  Skenes Creek Designated Township Area
  Warrion Designated Township Area
  Wye River/Separation Creek Designated Township Area

Other Information

  000 Burn Off Notification Form
  Summary Offences Act

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