Restrictions on burn-offs on the Mornington Peninsula will be eased next month to allow owners to reduce fuel loads ahead of the bushfire season. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council said in a statement that open-air burning will be permitted on Fridays and Saturdays during October from 9am-4pm on land between 500-1500 square metres, provided:
• The property is within the Peninsula’s bushfire-prone area;
• The burn-off is for the purposes of fire prevention;
• No more than 1 cubic metre of vegetation is burnt at any one time;
• The fire is not within 10m of a neighbouring dwelling; and,
• The general fire safety provisions are followed at all times.
“The easing of restrictions for land less than 1500 square metres aims to assist owners of smaller properties to reduce fire fuel in the lead-up to the fire season,” the council said. “For many people, burning off vegetation is an effective way to prepare and maintain properties.”
But the council noted that smoke from burn-offs undertaken incorrectly could affect people’s health and the environment and could also cause a nuisance, particularly in populated areas. “It can present a health risk to vulnerable groups such as people with asthma, people with pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions, the elderly and young children.
“As we are all currently in the Coronavirus pandemic, an illness that affects the respiratory system, it is important to consider this before burning off. Coronavirus has had a significant impact on all of us; please consider the potential impacts of smoke on your neighbours if you must burn off and have no alternative to remove vegetation. Before burning off, make sure to speak to your neighbours and include them in your decision.
“Outside of October, open-air burning is prohibited on properties smaller than 1500 square metres. Open-air burning regulations for land more than 1500 square metres and more than 40,000 square metres remain the same.”
The council urged residents to think twice about whether they needed to burn off this year or whether it could wait.
Click here for more information about the open air burning local law for October, or phone the Environment Protection Unit on 5950 1050. Click here to see if your property is in a bushfire-prone area.