Overview of the Requirements of the Act
Pursuant to the Fire & Emergency Services Act 2005, 105F – Private Land;
An owner of private land must take reasonable steps:
- To prevent or inhibit the outbreak of fire on the land; and
- To prevent or inhibit the spread of fire through the land; and
- To protect property on the land from fire; and
- To minimise the threat to human life from a fire on the land.
Private Land applies to all privately owned rural and township properties, including vacant ‘house blocks’ (investment or otherwise) within townships.
The District of Yankalilla is a rural area combining pristine beaches and coastlines with rolling hills, valleys, and lush pastures experiencing above average fertile soils. As such, Council maintains a focus on fire prevention.
There is an expectation that property owners adequately maintain their land at all times to minimise the chance of, and effects of bushfire, however particularly prior to the Fire Danger Season when vegetation dries off and outside temperatures rise. Council’s Fire Prevention Officer conducts inspections of properties throughout the area and issues reminders, and ultimately legal notices for non-compliance. As the Local Authority, Council may, and will if the need arises, conduct fire prevention works on your property, before recouping its costs to conduct those works from you.
Slashing & Fire Prevention Information
Slashing and Fire Prevention maintenance is to be performed prior to commencement of the Fire Danger Season each year. (Normally 1st December to 1st April)
The following standards apply:
- Within 20m of any building, reduce all grass, pest plants and undergrowth to a maximum height of 10cm and maintain at that level until the end of the Fire Danger Season.
- If the land is a vacant block under one hectare in area, reduce all plants, pest plants, flammable material and undergrowth to a maximum height of 10cm over the entire block and maintain at that level until the end of the Fire Danger Season.
- If the land is over one hectare in area, establish and maintain a fuel break around the whole area, as near as practicable to the perimeter. The fuel break must be a minimum 5m wide strip on which all grass, pest plants and undergrowth are reduced to a maximum height of no greater than 10cm, and must be maintained at that standard for the entire Fire Danger Season.
The standards do not imply that every tree and bush need to be cleared.
- For guidelines on clearance for bushfire prevention visit the Department for Environment and Water website.
- For more information regarding bushfire prevention responsibilities for land owners visit the CFS website.
Proposed Burn Program
Burn offs in rural areas for agricultural and industry purposes may be conducted by authorities from time to time.
Fire Danger Season
The Fire Danger Season for the Mount Lofty Ranges has been declared for 15 November 2019 to 30 April 2020. Restrictions on fires under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 will apply throughout the Yankalilla District for the season, and Council is seeking that people be vigilant with regards to fire prevention.
Remember, it’s not just about land management for fire prevention. There are various restrictions regarding the use of BBQ’s, Chainsaws, and even pizza ovens. The restrictions are designed to assist with the protection of assets and, more importantly, life. Council encourages people to visit the South Australian CFS website for more information.
You are reminded that bushfires may disrupt essential services, like electricity, water, and communications. It is important to ensure that you are prepared for such disruptions during extreme weather events. There are several things that should be considered in preparing for disruptions, including:
- Ensuring adequate supplies of candles, matches, and batteries for radios and torches.
- Ensuring that mobile phone and other devices are charged for communications.
- Being aware that should there be a loss of power for an extended length of time certain areas may experience a disruption in mobile phone and internet services (generally communications towers have only an approximate four-hour battery back up in the event of grid power loss).
- Solar panels will turn off if there is a loss of grid – supplied electricity.
- Consider the potential for loss of power in developing bushfire action plan for the home or business, including the potential requirement for back – up electricity generator.
- Having supplies of food and water to cover an extended time of local shop closures (several or more days).
- Having gas cooking and gas supplies (if only to boil water for a cup of coffee!).
- Being aware of safe precincts around the district should the fire/s be wide spread and endangering communities.
A reminder that the designated areas of last refuge are Myponga Oval, Yankalilla Oval, Carrickalinga Rise Reserve, Wirrina Cove Oval, Marina St Vincent, and the Rapid Bay Water-front.
Specific information on bushfire preparedness is available via CFS website and general information on electricity supply can be sourced by contacting Customer Response Team on 13 12 61.
Lighting Fires Across the District
Policies prohibit burning-off within Townships, without written permission from Council, and restricts the burning of wood or other plant material for the purposes of domestic heating within a Township (ie in a brazier, fire pit or chimenea).
Please click here to view relevant information and township maps.
All Pizza Ovens must comply with the Code of Practice - Wood Fired Pizza Ovens.
Pizza ovens that use solid fuel such as wood, charcoal or heat beads may be used at any time of the year with the exception of TOTAL FIRE BAN DAYS.
Pizza ovens that use gas or electric fuel may be used throughout the year.
For commercial applications wishing to use solid fuel pizza ovens on total fire ban day a Schedule 10 permit from Council is required.
Schedule 9 and 10 permits are issued by local councils, at the discretion of Council's Fire Prevention Officer.
Please be advised that Council is unable to issue permits during the yearly Christmas closure