The Department of Fire and Emergency Services imposed a Total Fire Ban (TFB) across Western Australia following a hot and windy weather forecast this week.
The areas of concern extend across Coral Bay in the North West to Waroona and east to Kalgoorlie and Wiluna.
Local governments across the South West, including the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, have issued their fire bans later last week.
The term Total Fire Ban (TFB) is issued when fires are likely to cause property damage and threaten lives because of extreme fire conditions or when firefighting resources are exhausted.
On the day of a Total Fire Ban, it is prohibited to ignite an open-air flame or engage in any other activity that could cause the fire.
Residents’ and landowners’ burning permits are suspended until the fire ban is over.
Other prohibited activities include using any cooker or barbecue that requires solid fuel, such as charcoal or wood outdoors in the open; this includes wood-fired stoves and ovens as well as kettle (Weber) barbecues.
Patio covered with a roof or pergolas and huts that are open or partially open to the weather is considered open air.
There are no fire pits or drum fires that can be lit, and the ban also prohibits using angle grinders, welding equipment, and other forms of hot work.
Beekeepers cannot use smokers on Total Fire Ban days. Vehicles cannot be driven through the forest or paddocks away from a road that has been cleared or tracked.
Violating the Total Fire Ban could attract an infringement of up to AU$1,000 from police, local authorities, or the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
If convicted, offenders could be fined AU$25,000 or be imprisoned for up to 12 months.
If you observe anyone acting in a manner that violates the terms of a Total Fire Ban, contact the appropriate local government directly, or submit a complaint by email or the Total Fire Ban Hotline (1800 709 355).
If the incident is related to arson, you must immediately report it to the police.