SA Country Fire Service

Media release

Community urged to monitor burn offs with dry conditions across SA


South Australians are being warned to be cautious when conducting burn offs, with CFS volunteers already responding to more than 70 rural fire incidents, 80 per cent of which were out of control burn offs, across the state in less than a week.

More than 750 CFS volunteers have responded to 75 rural fire incidents since Wednesday, 36 of which were on the weekend, including a fire left unattended at Carey Gully, a one-hectare burn at Scott Creek, and another fire at Norton Summit, which spread into blackberries.

Dry fuel loads and minimal rainfall continues to pose a significant risk of burn offs escaping and South Australians should consult the CFS website for information on when and how to safely conduct burn offs.

State Duty Commander, Brenton Hastie, said due to the extremely dry conditions and minimal rain on the horizon, if an ember falls in the landscape the risk of it spreading is significantly greater than usual due to limited moisture in the landscape.

"We urge anyone conducting burn offs to ensure all precautions are taken including checking the weather conditions are favorable before starting to burn and that contingency plans are in place to manage the fire should it get out of control," Mr Hastie said.

"For large piles we suggest pulling apart the pile with a rake or similar equipment to ensure there are no hot pockets, to extinguish the pile using water and post-burn physically check previous burns for heat to ensure they are completely extinguished."

"Out of control burn offs can cause serious risk to the community," he said.

Safe practices for burn offs include preparing a clean fuel break of at least four metres around the area to be burnt and ensuring a sufficient water supply remains on scene at all times during and after the burn off.

Anyone planning to conduct a burn, whether it be a vegetation pile burn or broadacre burning must follow the appropriate code of practice, which can be found on the CFS website.

Media information
For media enquiries call the CFS Media Line on 08 8115 3531.

Government of South Australia