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Total Fire ban in South Australia – what does it mean?

Greater SA

Everything you need to know about a Total Fire Ban in South Australia

  • A Total Fire Ban is declared by South Australia’s Country Fire Service (CFS) ahead of forecast hazardous fire weather conditions. In a region where a Total Fire Ban is declared – the ban applies for 24 hours, beginning at midnight and ending at midnight the following night.
  • Total Fire Bans may be declared in some Fire Ban Districts or across the whole state on days when high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity could cause fires to become uncontrollable.
  • In the event of a Total Fire Ban the CFS recommends that you implement your Bushfire Survival Plan  – if you don’t have one of those in place, click the link, it’s 5 minutes that could save you and your loved ones lives.
  • During the fire season Fire Danger Ratings for different regions are published after 4:30 pm daily during the fire season. These ratings are determined in conjunction with Bureau of Meteorology. Knowing your Fire Danger Ratings helps prepare for Fire Bans.
  • In making your Bushfire Survival Plan, you should be aware that in high fire danger conditions, essential services including mains-fed electricity and water supply may not be available due to the prevailing weather conditions. And consider a back-up option in case phone and internet services are down!
  • If you don’t have a plan to ensure your survival, leaving early before a fire starts is your safest option.

    What are the rules and restrictions during a Total Fire Ban?

Here’s some commonly asked questions and answers about what you can and can’t do during a Total Fire Ban.
  •  Q: Can I use an angle grinder, welder, metal cutting tool or any other tool that produces a spark outside?
    A: NO you can’t. Unless you have a Schedule 10 Permit from your local Council, which are generally only issued for emergency purposes. (But it’s clearly hot, so no one wants to be outside welding!)
  • Q: Can I have a campfire, bonfire or light a fire for cooking, warmth or comfort?
    A: No you can’t!
  • Q: What about a campfire, bonfire or a fire for cooking when it’s not a Total Fire Ban but it is Fire Danger Season?
    A:  Yes, but…….there are some rules to follow.
    –  the fire needs to be in a 30 cm deep trench and no more than one square metre in area
    –  you’ll need a 4 metre cleared space around and above the fire and a responsible person in attendance at all times with water.
    And please note – only charcoal is allowed to be burnt for comfort fires within a metropolitan area or within township boundaries by the EPA Legislation. Check with your local council before lighting a comfort fire.
    The use of above ground fires such as chimineas, fire drums, braziers are only permitted with the use of permits.
  • Q: Can I use a pizza oven?
    A: No, Unless it is gas or electric or you have a schedule 10 permit from your local council. Emergency Pizza? Probably not!
  • Q: Can I use a gas or electric barbecue or cooking appliance?
    A: Yes – but be sensible. It’s best not to light a bbq in the bush with no fire extinguisher
  • Q: Can I use a solid fuel burning kettle barbecue (ie. Webber that doesn’t use gas)?
    A: No, not without a permit.
  • Q: Can I use fireworks?
    A: No you can’t.
For further information contact the Information Hotline on 1800 362 361 or visit the CFS website.


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