MEDOWIE Rural Fire Service will be joining with News Of The Area to arm Medowie residents with as much fire safety information as possible before this year’s bushfire season begins.
This week, the fire brigade would like to educate Medowie residents on the issue of Open burning in the Port Stephens Council Area.
Ken Johnson of Medowie Rural Fire Service told News Of The Area, “The RFS is not aiming to prevent residents from carrying out appropriate burning, but wants to ensure that they understand the rules, know their responsibilities and carry out burning safely.”
Burning in the open in NSW is regulated by the Protection of the Environment (Clean Air) Regulation 2010.
The regulation allows Port Stephens Council to approve open burning of dead and dry vegetation in certain circumstances.
During the Bush Fire Danger (usually 1st October to 31st March) burning in the open will require a Fire Permit. It is your responsibility to control the fire and keep it on your own property.
If it escapes, you might be held liable for any damage it causes.
There are serious penalties for lighting fires in the open without the appropriate approval.
Two common open burning situations in our area, and some important basic starter points to remember, include:
Pile Burns – notification required all year
Pile Burns are the burning of piles of leaves and sticks that have accumulated on your property.
Port Stephens Council has given approval to burn dead and dry vegetative material on parcels of land that are over 4000m2 in size and zoned RU1, RU2, RU3, RU5 and R5 under the Local Environment Plan.
The approval has other conditions that must be followed.
Hazard Reduction – notification required all year
Hazard Reduction is protecting a property and assets from bushfires.
A Hazard Reduction Certificate (HRC) must be obtained before any clearing or burning and this is required all year around.
You can obtain a HRC free of charge from the NSW Rural Fire Service by calling 4015 000 during business hours.
The NSW Rural Fire Service can even assist landowners carry out hazard reduction burns on their land. Hazard Reduction Certificates are not issued for existing piles of vegetation.
The Certificate will list the conditions that you will need to follow.
There are many things to take into consideration with open burning, and almost every situation requires approval.
By Rachael VAUGHAN