Burning Off

Fire Danger Period

The Fire Danger Period is when the Country Fire Authority (CFA) restricts the use of fire in the community. This is to help prevent fires from starting.

People living in country Victoria are particularly affected. The CFA declares the Fire Danger Period for each municipality at different times in the lead up to the fire season. It depends on the amount of rain, grassland curing rate and other local conditions.

The Fire Danger Period may be declared as early as October in some municipalities, and typically remains in place until the fire danger lessens, which could be as late as May.

Council has received advice from the CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria that fire restrictions (Fire Danger Period and Prohibited Period, respectively) for all private land within Colac Otway Shire will end at 0100 hours on 1 May 2019. Further information can be found at www.cfa.vic.gov.au

The CFA urge residents to continue to exercise extreme caution when conducting a burn off https://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/-/take-care-burning-off-as-fire-restrictions-end

Fire restrictions during the Fire Danger Period

Once the Fire Danger Period has been declared, fire restrictions come into force. This means you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a permit or comply with certain requirements.

If you don't obtain a permit, you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted.

Permits to Burn during the Fire Danger Period

To burn during the Fire Danger Period you must obtain a permit from Colac Otway Shire Council.  Assessment of applications takes around 5 business days to be processed, including an inspection of the proposed burn site to determine if it is safe to burn. If you are successful in your application, you must comply with any conditions on the permit, including registering your burn at least 30 minutes before ignition.

You can download the Permit to Burn Application Form and Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 420KB) here. 

Alternatively you can reduce your fuel load and dispose of waste by:

  • Green waste can be taken to Council’s transfer stations at Alvie, Birregurra and Apollo Bay. Keeping green waste separate to other materials will significantly reduce disposal fees, further information is available on Council's Rubbish & Recycling page.
  • Fine fuels, such as grass, leaves and bark, can be very useful for mulching the garden.

Burning off Outside the Fire Danger Period

Burning off outside of the Fire Danger Period is allowed, under some strict conditions, as follows:

  1. In Designated Township Areas burning off is only permitted on Fridays and Saturdays after 10.00 a.m. All fires must be extinguished before sunset. For detailed information on where Designated Township Areas fall, please see the locality maps listed below these conditions.
  2. For those in a Designated Township Area who wish to burn on a day other than Friday or Saturday, a permit must be sought from Council. To apply for a permit please complete the Permit to Burn Application Form (Outside FDP)(DOCX, 17KB) .
  3. All burns require you to register your burn at least 30 minutes before ignition.
  4. Establish a fire break of no less than three metres cleared of all flammable material.
  5. Ensure a water supply is available with enough water to extinguish the fire if required.
  6. Never leave the fire unattended.
  7. Comply with CFA conditions.
  8. Comply with Local Law No 2 Fire Hazards(PDF, 23KB)

Designated Township Areas are shaded pink in the following maps, alphabetical by locality.

Fire Danger Ratings

The Fire Danger Rating tells you how dangerous a fire would be if one started, it helps you to know when conditions are dangerous enough to put your bushfire survival plan in to action. Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data for up to four days in advance, based on weather and other environmental conditions such as fuel load.

For details on what each rating means, you can download the CFA’s Fire Danger Rating Brochure here(PDF, 75KB) .

For current danger ratings, visit the CFA’s Total Fire Bans and Ratings page.