The beginning of the 2016/2017 Fire Danger Season is the 22 November 2016.
CHANGES TO BURNING IN THE OPEN
The Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 (the Policy) came into effect on 23 July 2016.
The Policy was created by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) following a consultation period in late 2015 and early 2016 to consolidate a number of existing policies and guidelines with the intent of better protecting and improving the health of South Australians and our environment through improved air quality. The Policy regulates air emissions including those from wood heaters and burning in the open.
- The Policy includes rules regulating the sale and installation of wood heaters to target health impacts associated with smoke from wood heaters.
- The Policy requires compliance with various Australian Standards for the sale and installation of all wood heaters, ensuring that wood heaters are engineered to operate efficiently, decreasing emissions to the atmosphere.
- The Policy requires firewood retailers do not sell domestic firewood with a moisture content of greater than 25% (dry weight) to protect the community against excessive smoke from burning of inappropriate fuel.
- There is also a requirement that the owner of a solid fuel heater does not allow excessive smoke to be generated from the heater.
Burning in the Open
A number of changes are now in place in relation to burning in the open following the introduction of the Policy including bushfire hazard reduction, disposal of agricultural and forestry waste and backyard burning in townships.
- Under the Policy, property owners within Townships (Robe township) require approval from the Council to undertake burning for bushfire hazard reduction and for disposal of agricultural and forestry waste.
- Burning in townships that previously occurred Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm, is no longer allowed.
- Inside the Robe township, only charcoal can be used in a brazier, chiminea or fire pit for heating an outdoor area. No other fuels are permitted.
- Fires for recreational purposes within the Robe township, including camp fires, are not allowed.
Next Steps – Burning in the Robe Township
The introduction of the Air Quality Policy results in a number of changes to controls relating to burning in the open. In regards to the Robe township, the burning that was previously permitted without the requirement for any approval, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm, now requires a burning permit from Council.
The District Council of Robe has developed a Township Burning Permit Policy to establish a set of criteria to be considered by Council’s delegated officers when assessing permit applications for burning within the Robe township.
A Burning Permit will be requiredto carry out one or more of the following burning activities outside of a fire danger season:
- burning agriculture or forestry waste; or
- burning off vegetation for fire prevention or control; or
- burning vegetation for any other purpose.
In assessing Burning Permit applications, Council’s Authorised Officers, will use their discretion, taking into account the following criteria, in determining whether a permit will be issued or not:
• Bushfire risk of the area
• Purpose of the proposed burning
• Amount of material to be burnt
• Fuel load present on adjoining properties
• Properties in close proximity or adjoining reserves or national parks
• Proximity and potential impact to neighbouring residents
• Availability of other reasonable means to dispose of the vegetation
• Legitimacy of the proposed burning – i.e. is this genuine fire hazard reduction or rubbish removal
• Nature of material to be burnt
• Size of the Allotment
• Terrain of the allotment and locality
• Accessibility to the allotment and area where the vegetation is to be burnt
• Is the material declared and or woody weeds
• Is the material diseased plant material
• Requirements of the Country Fire Service Broad Acre Burning Code of Practice
• Requirements of the Country Fire Service Vegetation Pile Burning Code of Practice
• Religious or Cultural purposes
The following Application for Permit for Burning in the Open will be required to be completed and sent to the Council office to enable a Council Authorised Officer to assess an application for burning in the open. The Council Authorised Officer will then determine if a Burning Permit will be issued and any conditions that will apply.