Letting you know we are burning
- How does DEPI notify people about burns in their area?
- Why can’t DEPI notify me sooner?
- A planned burn in my area was announced on the radio but the burn was cancelled. Why does that happen?
- Can I travel to an area where a planned burn is underway?
- Want to print this information?
How does DEPI notify people about burns in their area?
DEPI announces the general areas intended for planned burns at the beginning of the burn season.
Over the following weeks, DEPI provides burn information in several ways - placing information on its website, making contact locally, informing communities through local radio and newspapers, and providing details to DEPI call centres.
DEPI lists all upcoming burns on its webpage Planned burns today, which includes a map with colour-coded advice. A section of the map is shown in the top photo.
Several weeks before a burn, DEPI displays notices at the burn site informing people of the intent to burn in their area. If the burn is close to houses or schools, DEPI may alert them by letter two or three days before the burn.
If DEPI expects a large or lengthy burn to affect a nearby town for several days, fire officers may put up signs on main roads or leave fliers in shops, notice boards or other public places in town.
DEPI provides local newspapers with information about proposed burns that may take place in the coming week.
DEPI works closely with local radio to make sure a planned burn is announced on the day of the burn.
Victorian Bushfire Information Line
Planned burn information is available from the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667.
Why can’t DEPI notify me sooner?
DEPI announces the planned burn program and proposed areas at the beginning of the burn season. However, the decision to light a particular burn depends on the type of burn, the location, how close the burn is to towns and properties, and the local weather conditions.
Although weather can be predicted in advance, conditions can change unexpectedly. DEPI must be sure that all conditions are right on the day and for the next few days so the burn can proceed safely with minimal risk. This is extremely important if the burn is near towns, settlements and properties.
Neighbouring residents – those living next to the burn site – may be notified a few days in advance that a burn is planned. However, the decision to go ahead with the burn can only be confirmed on the day of the burn – usually in the morning.
Smoke from a burn can settle over large areas or drift some distance from the burn. To make sure that people in smoke-affected areas know where the smoke is coming from, DEPI provides burn information on local and metropolitan radio, the Victorian Bushfire Information Line and the DEPI web page Planned burns today.
A planned burn in my area was announced on the radio but the burn was postponed. Why does that happen?
Sometimes the community is notified about an upcoming burn in their area that is then postponed. This usually happens when there is a last minute change to conditions, for example stronger than expected winds on the day or a change in the weather forecast for the coming days.
DEPI recognises that this can be frustrating. However, any decision to postpone a burn is made because the risk to the nearby community, the environment and the fire crews outweighs the benefits of the burn at that particular time.
DEPI aims to carry out as many priority burns as possible. If opportunities are limited, DEPI will concentrate on high priority burns, such as a fuel reduction burn to provide community protection.
To find out about burns in your area visit Planned burns today or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
Can I travel to an area where a planned burn is underway?
In most cases, a planned burn should not affect your travel plans, however DEPI asks people to take care in any planned burn area.
What to print this information?
Planned burning information sheet 5 - Letting you know when we are burning