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Total fire bans

The following fire safety information is effective from 1 December to 31 March each year, however this is subject to seasonal conditions and may change.  Always check the official Bureau of Meteorology fire weather forecast for updates. 

A new 24 hour information line about total fire bans is available on 1800 709 355.

Below are answers to popular questions about total fire bans.

Can I use my BBQ? This depends on what type of BBQ or cooker you have, and where it is located. During a total fire ban (TFB) or hotworks and vehicle movement ban you cannot light or use a fire in the open air. Undercover areas such as patios, pergolas and huts that are open or partially open to the weather are deemed to be in the open air.

Can I use solid fuel? No. You cannot use any BBQ or cooker that requires solid fuel such as wood or charcoal. This includes wood fired ovens or stoves, and Weber like BBQs.

Can I use gas? Yes. You can use a gas BBQ for cooking if it has an enclosed flame and all flammable material is cleared five meters away from around your BBQ. Hort green grass less than five centimeters in height, paving stones, bricks and reticulated gardens are not considered to be flammable. The City of Wanneroo recommends that you check all gas fittings and connections and ensure a garden hose is in reach at all times. You should never leave an active BBQ unattended. BBQs with exposed flames cannot be used.

Can I use electric BBQs? Yes. You can use an electric BBQ where there is no flame.

Can I use my wood fired pizza oven? No. You cannot burn solid fuels such as wood or charcoal in the open air. This includes outdoor wood fired pizza ovens. Undercover areas such as patios, pergolas and huts that are open or partially open to the weather are deemed to be in the open air.

Can I use equipment and machinery (e.g. bobcats, excavators, bulldozers etc)? No. In bush or in areas of crop, pasture or stubble, equipment and machinery cannot be used if a harvest and vehicle movement ban has been implemented by your local government.

Can I do grinding, welding, or other forms of "hot works" in the open air? No. You cannot use a welder or power operated abrasive cutting discs of any kind in the open air due to the risks of sparks starting a fire. This includes grinding, soldering, gas cutting and all other forms of “hot works”.

Can I use a chainsaw, plant or grass trimmer, or lawn mower? Not in bush land or grassland areas of fire risk. These activities can be undertaken in suburban or built up areas which are cleared of flammable material, but not in bush land or other areas where their use is likely to cause fire.

Can I use a grinder, welder or power tools inside my shed? Possibly. This depends on the type of shed you are working from. You cannot use any of these if your shed has one or more open sides that are exposed to the weather. There is a risk that winds can blow sparks, which may then ignite flammable material. You can use these tools inside your shed if it is fully enclosed on all sides and has a door and roof to prevent sparks from escaping.Please be aware of general safety risks when working in enclosed spaces, including the risk of fumes.

Can I drive a 4WD offroad (e.g. through bushland) for recreational purposes? No. During a total fire ban or harvest and vehicle movement and hotworks ban you cannot use a vehicle in bush or a paddock. You can only use a vehicle on a road, track or in an area that has been sufficiently cleared of flammable material. Remember if your vehicle catches fire and spreads to the bush, you are responsible and have broken the law.

Can I ride my motorbike, motocross bike or quad bike through bush or in a paddock? No. During a total fire ban or harvest and vehicle movement and hotworks ban you cannot use a vehicle in bush or a paddock, unless it is for agricultural purposes. You can only use a vehicle on a road, track or in an area that has been sufficiently cleared of flammable material.

Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco and matches

Discarding a burning cigarette, cigar, tobacco or match is considered to be an activity that causes, or is likely to cause, a fire. Under the Bush Fires Act 1954, inappropriate disposal of a burning cigarette, cigar,tobacco or match during restricted and prohibited burning times attracts a penalty of $5,000.

During a total fire ban, any person who disposes of burning tobacco, or a burning cigarette, cigar or match in circumstances that is likely to set fire to the bush, including by throwing it from a vehicle, could face a fine of $25,000 and/or 12 months in jail.