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.

During a Total Fire Ban, it is illegal to carry out any activity in the open air likely to cause a fire, including but not limited to:
  • 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.
A list of all activities restricted during a Total Fire Ban is available on the DFES website or by calling the DFES Total Fire Ban hotline on 1800 709 355.

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.

There are several ways you can find out if a Total Fire Ban has been declared:
  • 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

Total Fire Ban exemptions are required for any activity not prescribed in the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 which could cause a fire. These activities include fireworks, programmed hot fire training, rail grinding, and religious and cultural ceremonies.

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.

The following are examples of activities that are not permitted during a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban:
  • 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).
In the interests of community safety, if you have planned to carry out an activity that may pose a fire risk, even if a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban does not explicitly prohibit it, please postpone until conditions have improved and restrictions have lifted.

The following activities are permitted during a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban:
  • 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).
Important note: If you hold a valid exemption from a Total Fire Ban, a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban will cancel that exemption.

There are several ways you can find out if a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban has been declared:

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