Fire Bans

Total Fire Bans

Total Fire Bans (TFB) are declared by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) due to extreme weather conditions or when widespread fires are seriously stretching firefighting resources. 

During a TFB

The lighting of any fires in the open air and any other activities that may start a fire are prohibited, including:

  • All open air fires for the purpose of cooking or camping - wood fuel barbeques, candles and pizza ovens
  • Incinerators, welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting, angle grinders and lawnmowers

Exemptions may be granted by DFES and must be requested in writing.

Up to $25,000 fine and/or a 12-month jail term for non-compliance

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Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans

Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans (HVMB) in the district are imposed by local government under the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 (Regs) when the local Fire Behaviour Index reaches 40 or as otherwise permitted under the Regs.

A HVMB may be imposed for any length of time but is generally imposed for ‘heat of the day’ periods and may be extended or revoked as weather conditions change.

During a HVMB

The use of engines, vehicles, plant and machinery are prohibited, in order to mitigate the associated risk of causing or contributing to the spread of a bushfires.  

Who issues a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban (HVMB)?

Your local government issues harvest and vehicle movement bans (HVMB) to restrict engine, vehicle, plant, equipment, and machinery use. This reduces the risk of bushfires during fire weather conditions.

Regulations 24C (during a total fire ban) and 38A (during restricted and prohibited burning times) of the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 allow local governments to issue HVMBs.

In HVMBs without a total fire ban, the local government lists what is banned under regulation 39C. Please consult the local government for specifics as what is prohibited will vary.

What is A HVMB?

Type 1: Regulation 24C Bush Fires Regulations 1954.

Apply when a total fire ban has been declared, they must be imposed when the fire behaviour index is or exceeds 40 or when the Bush Fire Control Officer deems the use or operation of an engine vehicle, plant, equipment, or machinery powered by an internal combustion engine on land containing vegetation (off-road) is likely to start a bush fire. HVMBs are usually issued during the day's highest risk period.

Type 2: Regulation 38A Bush Fires Regulations  1954.

Apply during restricted and prohibited burning times and where no total fire ban is declared. If the Bush Fire Control Officer believes engines, vehicles, plant, or machinery may cause or be conducive to the spread of a bushfire.

How long does a HVMB last?

The HVMB is usually in force during the hottest part of the day, but local governments can extend or cancel the ban if weather conditions change.

What can't I do when a HVMB is issued during a total fire ban?

The public is already prohibited from the following activities during a total fire ban, but when a HVMB is issued, business, industry, local governments, and agriculture are prohibited from operating anything operated by an internal combustion engine on land with vegetation, for example:

  • Harvesting
  • Driving cars, ATV’s or motorbikes  
  • Operating drill rigs/machinery
  • Clearing vegetation including clearing as part of road construction
  • Slashing road verges
  • Lawn mowing services by businesses or local governments.

For more information about Total Fire Bans and Harvest Vehicle Movement Bans click here

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Fire Danger Ratings

It is important to keep abreast of your area's Australian Fire Danger Rating (AFDR) by monitoring local conditions and keeping in-the-loop. For more information about fire danger ratings click here.

What is the AFDRS

The Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) Program is redesigning the forecasting of fire danger in Australia. The AFDRS is a project of national significance being developed collaboratively by each state and territory, and the Commonwealth government. It aims to improve public safety, reduce the impacts of bushfires and better support the community with nationally consistent ratings and messaging. The AFDRS will be implemented on 1 September 2022 across Australia.

Understanding Australian Fire Danger Ratings

Catastrophic 100+

Unsafe for firefighters and community. Without initial attack success, likelihood of very large fire development is very high. High probability of loss of life and property.

Extreme 50 - 99

Defensive suppression strategies. High levels of threat to life/property. Safety of firefighters and community paramount.

High 24 - 49

Initial attack success critical to prevent large fire development. Defensive suppression strategies.

Moderate 12 - 23

Most bushfires in this category. Fires typically suppressed with direct, parallel or indirect attack.

How is the AFDRS different from our current system?

The current Fire Danger Rating System is largely based on 60-year-old science applied on a large scale. New technology and research have greatly improved our ability to more accurately predict fire behaviour and the potential threat to the community.

Shire of Murray fire weather district:

  • Swan Coastal South
  • Swan Inland South

Shire of Murray fire weather district

To check the current fire danger rating in your area, visit Western Australia Fire Danger Ratings (

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