Preparing Your Property for Bush Fire Season
Preparing for fires is essential to living in our fire prone landscape. Having a plan is the primary step to ensuring the survivability of your property and the welfare of you and your family, including pets and livestock. It is also imperative that you prepare your property thoroughly, well before the fire season.
All owners and occupiers of land within the Shire of Murray are required to carry out fire prevention work in accordance with the Shire of Murray’s Firebreak Notice on or before 30 November each calendar year or within 14 days of becoming the owner or occupier the land, should this be after 30 November. All work specified in the Notice is to be maintained up to and including 30 April the following calendar year. The work required by the Notice is based on land size and zoning.
Further advice on when and how to burn off is available from your your local Fire Control Officer, the Shire of Murray Community Emergency Services Coordinator or Ranger Service on (08) 9531 7777.
For more information on how to prepare for a bushfire, visit dfes.wa.gov.au.
Important Dates to Remember
Unseasonal weather conditions may necessitate a variation to these dates.
Burning is prohibited on days where the Fire Danger Rating is Very High or above and if either a Total Fire Ban/Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is declared.
Prior to any burning, residents should advise the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ Communications Centre 1800 198 140.
Residents should monitor murray.wa.gov.au or contact the Shire’s Ranger and Emergency Services (08) 9531 7777.
Restricted Burning Time
During Restricted Burning Times, a Permit to Burn is required and is obtainable free of charge from:
- Local Bush Fire Brigade Fire Control Officers
- Locality Permit Issuing Officer
- No permits will be issued during the Prohibited Burning Time
- Permits to Burn will not be issued in relation to properties < 4,000m2
- Permit holders are required to adhere to all conditions on the permit
- Special conditions may apply
- Even when a Permit to Burn has been issued, no fire is to be lit when the fire danger rating is Very High or above
Permit Issuing Officer Contact Details
Prohibited Burning Time
During the Prohibited Burning Time, setting fire to bush is prohibited at all times.
- Shire of Murray (08) 9531 7777
- ABC 720AM Local Radio
- Local Fire Control Officer
Broadcast of local Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans, Total Fire Bans and other information.
To subscribe email your first name, surname, mobile number and email address to: email@example.com
SMS Alerts do not include alerts about fires or other emergencies.
Terms and Conditions
- By subscribing to this service you agree to receive SMS messages from the Shire of Murray regarding Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans and other bans imposed during the fire season.
- You accept that by subscribing to this service you will receive message for the current and future fire seasons.
- The Shire of Murray reserves the right to discontinue this service at any time. Any decision to discontinue this service will be advised via this SMS service.
- You accept that radio announcements are still the primary means of notification of bans. In the event of a discrepancy between this SMS service and an announcement on the radio, the latter shall prevail.
- You have the right to unsubscribe from this service at any time. To unsubscribe, please notify the Shire of Murray in writing, via fax on (08) 9531 7716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not attempt to unsubscribe via replying to an SMS notification.
- You accept that the Shire may from time to time use this SMS service to send other topical messages.
If you have any further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact the Emergency Services Coordinator during normal business hours on (08) 9531 7716.
Gas and Electric Barbeques
- Permitted at any time
Solid Fuel Barbecues, Spit Roasts, Webers, Pizza Ovens and Other Cooking Fires
Prohibited Burning Time
- Prohibited at all times
Restricted Burning Times
- Prohibited when the Fire Danger Rating is Very High or above, or when a Total Fire Ban has been declared
- Permitted at all other times, if constructed in a way which prevents the escape of sparks or burning material and is within a three (3) metre fuel free zone
- Somebody must be in attendance at all times and a means of extinguishing the fire must be on hand
Burning of Garden Refuse or Rubbish
Includes incinerators and on the ground.
Prohibited Burning Time
- Prohibited at all times
Restricted Burning Time
- Prohibited on land <4,000m2
- Prohibited when the Fire Danger Rating is Very High or above or if a Total Fire Ban has been declared
- Permitted at all other times on land >4,000m2. One small heap (up to one (1) cubic metre) may be burnt on the ground, without a Permit to Burn, between 6:00pm and 11:00pm but only if it is completely extinguished before midnight on the same day, a five (5) metre firebreak has been cleared and at least one able bodied person remains in attendance.
There are a range of alternatives to burning waste which will not harm the environment or cause health problems for you or your neighbours.
- Grass can be slashed, grazed or reduced with herbicide to decrease fuel loads. This may be a practical alternative particularly if erosion is a concern or in areas which are difficult to access
- Ratepayers and residents are encouraged to dispose of green waste and garden refuse via the two annual Green Waste Verge Collections
- Shire of Murray ratepayers and residents are also able to dispose of their green waste and garden refuse at the Corio Road and Dwellingup Waste Transfer Stations
- Garden refuse (particularly grass clippings, leaves and twigs) can also be used as a mulch or compost in the garden to improve soils and the growth of plants
- If you have large quantities of green waste (branches, tree trunks) you can arrange for mobile mulching services for the material on–site
- Mulching and composting at home avoids the need to burn off and is an environmentally friendly way to deal with green waste. For information regarding composting, please contact the Shire of Murray Environmental Services on (08) 9531 7777
- Mulch piles should be no larger than five (5) cubic metres to reduce the risk of spontaneous combustion and piles should have a three (3) metre firebreak surrounding the pile
Considerations prior to burning:
- Weather conditions – always check with the Bureau of Meteorology for haze alerts and weather conditions in your area
- Tell your neighbours – give sufficient notice of your intention to burn to ensure adequate preparation time especially for relocating any persons with respiratory issues
- Condition of refuse – only burn dry dead material to minimise the amount of smoke produced
- Control the load – do not burn more than you can manage, commence with a smaller fire and gradually add more material
The Shire of Murray Health Local Law prohibits the burning of the following materials which cause the generation of smoke or odour in such quantities as to cause a nuisance to other persons:
- Food scraps
- Green garden materials
If a local government considers that seasonal conditions warrant, the local government may, after consultation with an authorised Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Officer if forest land is situated in its district vary the Restricted Burning times in respect of that year in the district or a part of the district by:
- Shortening, extending, suspending or reimposing a period of restricted burning times
- Imposing a further period of Restricted Burning Times
- Vary the prescribed conditions by modifying or suspending all or any of those conditions
- A variation shall not be made if that variation would have the effect of shortening the Restricted Burning Times by suspending the Restricted Burning Times, or any prescribed condition, for more than 14 successive days during a period that would, in the absence of the variation under this subsection, be part of the Restricted Burning Times for that zone in that year
The Shire will advertise any variations to the above periods within a local newspaper circulating within the district. However it is the responsibility of individuals to ensure they are up to date with local restrictions prior to undertaking any activities that are likely to cause a fire.
Did You Know?
In order for fire appliances to access your property safely, firebreaks are required to be no less than three (3) metres wide and have no less than 4.5 metres vertical clearance. Fire appliances must be able to fit through gates on your property.
The average fire appliance is nine (9) metres in length.
Under the Emergency Management Act 2005, local governments are required to perform various tasks which assist the community to prepare, prevent, respond and recover from various emergencies.
The Shire has plans and structures to bring together government, voluntary and private agencies, to deal with major emergencies through its Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC). These plans cover all emergency requirements, including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
Local Emergency Management Committee
The LEMC is made up of representatives from:
- Shire of Murray
- Western Australian Local Police (WAPOL)
- Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)
- Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
- Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (VBFB)
- Murray State Emergency Services (SES)
- Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS)
- Department for Child Protection and Family Support (CPFS)
- State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC)
- St John Ambulance
- Main Roads
- Water Corporation
- Western Power
- ATCO Gas
- Pinjarra Network of Schools
- Bedingfeld Park Inc Aged Care Facility
The LEMC meets quarterly to discuss the Shire’s current emergency services, preparation plans in the event of any emergency and how to assist the community to recover from such an event.
Volunteers are an integral part of delivering emergency service activities within the district on behalf of the Shire of Murray. The Shire has five Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (VBFB) and one State Emergency Service (SES) Unit operating within the district.
West Australians who live in the urban rural interface, and in rural and pastoral areas rely heavily on Volunteer Bushfire Bridges for protection against the threat and devastation of fire.
There are approximately 31,000 volunteers who help to protect Western Australia from bushfires through fire prevention, risk management, fire suppression and fire safety education.
Shire of Murray Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades:
- Coolup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade
- Dwellingup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade
- North Dandalup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade
- South Yunderup/Ravenswood Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade
- West Murray Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade
When a natural disaster such as a storm, cyclone, earthquake or flood strikes Murray State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers can be found helping to secure and restore communities.
SES provides a wide range of services to help communities cope with the effects of natural disasters, from emergency repairs on buildings to restoration of essential services and the ferrying of cargo and passengers across flood waters.