Learn the rules regarding Total Fire Bans and Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans, as well as how to determine if there is a ban in place.
Total Fire Ban
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) will declare a Total Fire Ban on days when fires are most likely to threaten lives and property. A Total Fire Ban could be due to:
- The existing weather conditions in an area of the State are conducive to the outbreak or spread of bushfires
- Dangerous weather conditions in an area of the State are imminent
- Operational reasons deem it necessary to declare a Total Fire Ban in a specific area of the State (e.g. limited firefighting resources available).
When declaring a Total Fire Ban, DFES considers local factors such as the weather forecast, available resources, the number of days since it last rained, and the amount of vegetation that could burn during a fire.
- Lighting a fire
- Using an appliance that consumes a solid fuel, e.g. firepits, BBQs, pizza ovens, smokers, spit roasters
- Undertaking hot works such as welding, grinding and cutting metal
- Using internal combustion engine-powered equipment in or around bushland
- Using motorbikes, quad bikes or other motorised vehicles in bushland or paddocks, unless for the feeding or watering of stock.
In the interests of community safety, if you have planned to carry out an activity that may pose a fire risk, even if it is not explicitly prohibited by a Total Fire Ban, please postpone until conditions have improved and the restrictions have lifted.
- Visit the Emergency WA website (look for the alerts which appear at the top of the page when active)
- Listen to ABC Local Radio (684 AM, 1044 AM, 738 AM)
- Call the DFES Total Fire Ban hotline on 1800 709 355
To find out more, visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.
Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban
Occasionally, during Restricted and Prohibited Burning periods, the Shire’s Chief Bush Fire Control Officer may impose a ban on the use or operation of any engine, vehicle, plant, equipment or machinery in the area. This ban is commonly referred to as a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban.
A Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban restricts activities that will likely cause a bushfire or contribute to its spread. The Shire imposes the ban when the expected weather conditions indicate a bushfire would be dangerous, destructive, and difficult to contain.
On days when the fire danger index in an area is or exceeds 35, a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban must be imposed. During the bushfire season, the fire danger index is monitored throughout the day using various means, including physical weather readings taken in the field and the monitoring of weather stations.
- Harvesting operations
- Any “hot works” (e.g. welding, grinding, cutting, heating etc.) in the “open-air”
- The use or operation of any engine, vehicle, plant, equipment or machinery likely to cause a bushfire or contribute to its spread (e.g. motorbikes, quad bikes or other motorised vehicles in bushland or off-road areas, including paddocks).
- Moving vehicles on “gazetted roads” - as described in Bush Fires Regulation 24A(1) and Road Traffic Act 1974 section 5.1
- Moving vehicles on a lane, driveway, yard, or another area that provides access or parking for a residential, farming or business premises, if the area has been sufficiently cleared of flammable material
- Using a vehicle to prevent an immediate and serious risk to the health or safety of a person or livestock, and only if all reasonable precautions have been taken to avoid starting a bushfire
- Using or operating vehicles or undertaking “hot works” by those persons holding a current Exemption under Bush Fires Act 1954 s. 22C (exemption from Total Fire Bans).