It is time to prepare for and prevent fires

Cleve District Council mayor Roger Nield.

Cleve District Council mayor Roger Nield.

The fire danger season has not been set for the 2017/18 summer but it normally goes from November 1 to the first Saturday in April.

It is still yet to be decided if any permits will be issued after November 1 – that will depend on the season and the risk of fire getting away from burn offs.

What can be done now until the start of the fire season is fire prevention.

This can be done by reducing the fuel load on your property, particularly around houses and sheds by slashing and/or spraying; a combination of both is often required.

Most landowners now are cropping a greater proportion of their property than they used to, the fallow paddock or hard grazed paddock that won’t allow a fire to run are becoming an exception.

This puts a greater responsibility on landowners to plan for fire prevention, or if a fire starts, to have a planned break or number of breaks on your property in advance.

This is to allow you to have a line of defence to prevent the potential, further spread of the fire.

This can be done by spraying early enough before you have a bulk cover, cultivation can be used but can be an erosion risk in some soils.

Harvesting machinery should be checked thoroughly before, as well as throughout harvest particularly around the engine bay.

Bearings that are getting warm should be changed, normally a sign they are on their way out.

Vehicles that go into stubble paddocks should all have a fire extinguisher on them, preferably both types.

Water extinguishers can easily be refilled, providing you carry spare water with you, but are not the best for electrical fires.

Always carry a shovel and rake, they could be the difference between containing a fire or have it get away.

Always be fire conscious and the damage it can do when uncontrolled, and most importantly, be prepared.

For more information on preparing for the fire season and to keep up to date on the warnings and conditions, visit the CFS website at cfs.sa.gov.au.

You can also download the AlertSA app for information regarding bushfire incidents in your area.

Roger Nield

Cleve District Council mayor