Fires prohibited in Augusta Margaret River ahead of hot, windy weather

A hot, windy weather forecast and drier than usual fuel loads have moved the Shire of Augusta Margaret River to issue a Section 46 Notice, prohibiting the lighting of any fire in the open air tomorrow, and Thursday.
A hot, windy weather forecast and drier than usual fuel loads have moved the Shire of Augusta Margaret River to issue a Section 46 Notice, prohibiting the lighting of any fire in the open air tomorrow, and Thursday.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has issued a Section 46 Notice, prohibiting the lighting of any fire in the open air from 12.01am Wednesday 8 December 2021 to 11.59pm Thursday 9 December 2021 for the whole of the local government area.

This means:

  • Permits to Burn have been suspended.
  • Anyone who has an existing controlled burn underway is restrained from expanding the fire's current boundary and adding any additional fuels.

Other conditions of the Restricted Burning Period will remain as is, including:

  • Campfires are still permitted between 6pm and 11pm, provided it is in a designated firepit or on a private property (with the landowner's permission).
  • Campfires, or fires for the purposes of cooking, located outside of the above areas remain prohibited.
  • Solid fuel BBQs may still be used at any time the Fire Danger Index is not Very High or above.

Shire Chief Bushfire Control Officer David Holland said the decision to suspend Permits and contain existing burns was the result of some potentially dangerous fire conditions forecast this week.

"Fuel loads are much drier than we would normally see at this time of year," he said.

The Soil Dryness Index goes from zero (wet) to 2000 (dry)and we are currently sitting at about 1100.

"In previous years we sat much closer to 750-800.

"Couple this with the prediction of hot and windy weather on Wednesday and Thursday, and all of a sudden the fire risk increases quite considerably."

Mr Holland said a temperature range of 20 (min) to 33 (max) was forecast for the next two days with winds that are 'all over the joint'.

"We don't know exactly what Mother Nature will be serving up to us until the day arrives," he said.

"At the moment, it looks like Thursday morning will be the highest risk period.

"We think it's going to be warm early, with Northeast winds that switch to Northwest with speeds of up to 30km/h.

"We've taken the view that it's better that we are proactive and planned instead of waiting to see what's going to happen and potentially leaving it too late."

Mr Holland reminds residents to please be fire prepared and ensure properties are compliant to the Firebreak Notice Requirements and Bushfire Information 2021-22 booklet for the duration of fire season.

More information on fire preparedness can be accessed HERE.