Fire & Burning Information

To obtain a permit contact your local Fire Control Officer.

Restricted Burning Periods & Permits

Prohibited Burning Period

Under the Bush Fires Act 1954, it is generally an offence to light fires during the Prohibited Burning Time. Penalties of up to $10,000 fine, 12 months’ imprisonment, or both may apply.

Prohibited burning times are as follows:

  • 16th December until 28th February

All burning, including garden refuse, is prohibited during this period.

Camp & cooking fires are prohibited throughout the Shire during this period, except in the below approved locations.

Restricted Burning Period

You must obtain a permit to burn before lighting and follow all permit conditions, Permits are available free of charge by contacting your local Volunteer Fire Control Officer.

All permit holders are required to comply with the requirements of the Bush Fire Act 1954.

Any additional special conditions imposed on the permit holder must also be complied with

Prohibited burning times are as follows:

  • 1st March until 30 April 
  • 1 November until 15 December

Burning Allowed

No permits required, apart from the 1st October onwards ALL standing bush requires a permit

Burning Period:

  • 1 May until 31 October

If you need to conduct a hazard reduction burn on your property because you aren’t able to freely drop your green waste off at the tip, make sure you do the responsible things by;

  • Always being in attendance of your burn
  • Have the ability to contain, control and extinguish your burn. This means You have suitable fire fighting equipment onsite for the duration of the burn.
  • Letting your neighbours know you plan to burn,
  • You aren’t under the influence of any substance,
  • There is more than one person doing the burn,
  • You call the Department of Fire & Emergency Services Communication Centre on 9395 9210 and register prior to lighting your burn. If your burn escapes and causes damage, you may be liable for costs. Bush Fire and Emergency Management

Camp and Cooking Fires (during prohibited periods)

Shire of Denmark Policy P050102

The lighting of fires in the open air for the purpose of camping or cooking during the prohibited burning times, is not permitted unless the fire is:

  • At a person's home (a permanent home or residence must be a building approved by the Shire not a caravan or temporary shed) or,
  • In a area which:
    • Has been purposely set aside by a State Authority or the Shire of Denmark, who is responsible for the care and control of the area;
    • Has a clearly marked sign installed by a State Authority or the Shire of Denmark stating that the area has been set aside for that purpose;
    • All combustible material must be cleared from within a 5m radius of the fire; and
    • The fire danger rating on that day must indicate less than "Very High

The fire must be:

  • Contained within a purpose-built structure of brick or rocks and mortar, or
  • Contained within a purpose-built steel container recognisable as a properly constructed barbecue, or
  • Is a sand fire pit structure, suitable for a camp fire or cooking fire, that has a maximum diameter of 1 metre and a minimum depth of 30cm

Approved locations:

  • Riverbend Caravan Park: 40 Riverbend Lane Denmark
  • Boat Harbour Chalets: 171 Boat Harbour Road Parryville
  • Parry Beach Caravan Park
  • Denmark Boating and Angling Club, Parry Beach
  • Peaceful Bay Caravan Park
  • New Farm Holiday Stay: 21 Tindale Road, Bow Bridge

Burning of Garden Refuse

Shire of Denmark Policy P050101

  • No burning of garden refuse is permitted during the restricted burning time (RBT) without a permit
  • No burning of garden refuse is permitted throughout the entire prohibited burning time (PBT)
  • All garden refuse that is burnt is to be thoroughly dry (not green) so as not to cause a smoke nuisance to neighboring properties.

Total Fire Bans & Vehicle Movement Bans

Total Fire Ban (TFB)

A Total Fire Ban is declared by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services when a fire is likely to spread rapidly (due to extreme fire weather) or if widespread fires are already burning and firefighting resources are stretched.

You must notify the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Shire of any at risk work taking place outside during a Total Fire Ban, you are required to do this by completing the TFB Prescribed Activities – Online Notification Form

What can't you do?

On a Total Fire Ban day you are not allowed to light an open-air fire or conduct any activity that could start a fire. This includes lighting a campfire, using a welder, grinder or incinerator, conducting a burn-off, burning leaves and garden waste, firing up a wood or charcoal BBQ, using a wood-fired pizza oven, driving a vehicle in fire-prone areas and more.

What are the penalties for breaching a Total Fire Ban?

When you breach a Total Fire Ban you not only put people's lives and properties in danger, but you could also face a $1,000 on-the-spot fine. And, if it's a serious breach, you could be fined up to $25,000 and even receive jail time of up to 12 months

TFBs are announced on the DFES website, on ABC Radio and the DFES Twitter feed, you can find out more about TFBs by visiting the DFES Website

Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban (HVMB)

A Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is a ban that individual local governments are responsible for issuing under the Bush Fires Regulations 1954.  The ban will be imposed when the Bushfire Control Officer is of the opinion that the use of engines, vehicles, plant or machinery during the prohibited burning times or the restricted burning times or both is likely to cause a fire or contribute to the spread of a bushfire.

The responsibility remains on the individual to ensure that any activity undertaken is not likely to start a fire and that a Harvest and Vehicle Movement Ban is currently not in place in their local government area.

Bushfire Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 'Fire Season'?

Bushfires can occur all year round but during the hottest and driest times of the year, bushfire risk is at its highest. This is generally throughout summer, however seasonal conditions and weather events may bring the season forward into spring or extend into autumn. It is critical your property is well prepared throughout the Maintenance Period (See below: when am I allowed to burn) when the risk of a fire becoming out of control is heightened.

When am I allowed to burn? 

The year is divided into three periods:

  • Restricted
  • Prohibited
  • Unrestricted

The dates of which can be found in the yearly released Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice.

During the Restricted Burning Period you may only burn if you obtain a permit from your local Fire Control Officer.

During the Prohibited Burning Period, any smoke should warrant alarm. You may see Fire Brigades or the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions conducting Hazard Reduction Burns during this time, however these are only conducted after considerable professional planning and with sufficient fire-fighting resources on hand. If you are unsure if the smoke is from a planned burn, visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au and check the latest alerts, incidents and warnings.

Unrestricted season is generally in the cooler months when the risk of a fire becoming out of control is significantly lower than in summer. Whilst you are allowed to light fires on your property during this time, you are responsible to keep the fire controlled and contained, and must have the ability and means to extinguish the fire at all times.

What is a burning permit, and who do I contact to get one? 

A burning permit is required throughout the Restricted Burning Period and must be obtained at least 24 hours prior to burning on your property. Permits are issued by Fire Control Officers at their discretion to ensure that the risk of your burning activities are reduced and to register where burning is taking place.

Contact your local Fire Control Officer

What is a Total Fire Ban?

When a Total Fire Ban (TFB) is declared, it is illegal to undertake any activity that could start a fire. Open air fires are prohibited during a TFB.

A TFB is declared by DFES when fire is most likely to threaten lives and property. This is because of predicted extreme fire weather or when there are already widespread fires, resulting in stretched firefighting resources.

It is your responsibility to know when a TFB is in place. If you are unsure check Emergency WA or tune into ABC local radio (Denmark and Great Southern 558AM or 630AM) to receive alerts and warnings every 30 minutes.

A TFB may be declared at any time of the year, even outside of the fire season due to factors like higher temperatures and expected strong winds preceding a storm front.

Breaching a Total Fire Ban could result in a fine up to $1000. Upon conviction, you could receive a maximum fine of $25,000 and/or be jailed for 12 months. If you see someone breaching a TFB, contact the Shire of Denmark on (08) 9848 0300 or report via the Total Fire Ban Hotline (1800 709 355). If the behaviour is related to arson, report this to police immediately.

What activities are banned during a Total Fire Ban?

  • Using a barbecue, pizza oven or spit style rotisserie which burns solid fuel (coal or wood)
  • Campfires, fire pits or bonfires
  • Angle grinding, welding, soldering or any other form of hot works performed outdoors
  • Operating a vehicle in the bush or a paddock (operation for agricultural purposes may be exempt). You can only use a vehicle on a road or in an area which has been sufficiently cleared of flammable material

I can see smoke, what do I do?

If life or property is under threat call 000 immediately.

If you are unsure about smoke visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au for incidents, alerts and warnings. If the fire is not registered on the site and you still aren’t sure, call 000.

000 will connect you through to DFES Communications Centre, you may be asked a series of questions including:

  • Address of the fire – this could be a street number, the nearest crossroad, landmark or GPS coordinates
  • Size of the fire or smoke plume
  • Your contact details

Will someone knock on my door if a fire is coming towards my home?

The simple answer is no.

We cannot guarantee that someone will be able to door knock every property in the path of a fire. It is your responsibility to be aware of impeding threats or emergencies near you. If you are ever unsure, the best fire plan is to get out early. When evacuation orders are issued, the roads will be congested, residents will be in distress and emergency vehicles will be trying to access the area to defend properties.

Denmark has a range of Bushfire Ready groups. Bushfire Ready groups are people living within a local area, facing the same bushfire threat and who often have existing social networks already in place. The groups are run by a Bushfire Ready Facilitator, assisted by Street Coordinators and supported by Fire and Emergency Services personnel. They meet informally to learn and discuss how to become Bushfire Ready and work together to prepare and protect their families and properties against bushfires. If you would like to know more about Bushfire Ready groups information can be found here.

Additional DFES resources:

The Shire of Denmark has an SMS alerts system that will provide information on Total Fire Bans, Harvest, Vehicle and Movement bans and a bunch of other handy alerts for the Shire of Denmark, you can subscribe here.

How do I join a volunteer fire brigade?

For information about what's involved, click here. If becoming a volunteer interests you, please contact your nearest Fire Control Officer. They will guide you through the steps to signing up and help you along the way.

To take part in active firefighting roles you will need to undertake training provided by DFES and Local Government, attend regular brigade activities and be of satisfactory health and fitness.

Your nearest brigade may also have positions available for non-active roles such as Base Radio Operator, Secretary, Maintenance Officer, Treasurer or Training Officer.

Am I allowed to light a campfire?

Camping and cooking fires are permitted if the fire is no further than 20m from a dwelling on a property that is your permanent residence, not a holiday home.

The fire must be in an established pit or drum with a minimum of three metres clear ground surrounding it. You must also have the means to extinguish, contain and control the fire at all times. (Sand is not an acceptable extinguishment method.)

Camping and cooking fires are not permitted to be lit in any reserves, beaches, holiday properties, vacant land or roadside parking bays.

Please note these conditions apply for the use of all barbeques, oven's or spit style rotisseries which burn solid fuel (coal or wood).

Designated caravan parks and camp areas may permit the lighting of camp fires on their property. These include:

  • Peaceful Bay Caravan Park
  • Parry Beach Caravan Park
  • Riverbend Caravan Park
  • Boat Harbour Chalets
  • Ayr Saileen
  • Denmark Boating and Angling Club  

How do I lower the risk of my planned burn?

The Burn SMART guide is designed to assist property owners in planning and implementing planned burns when conditions are suitable to safely reduce bushfire risk. 

Download the Burn SMART guide  

How do I know if my fire is completely out?

Every year the Fire Brigade in Denmark responds to fires which have been left unattended after landholders thought their fire was completely extinguished. It is essential that you double and triple check that your fire is completely out before walking away from it.

Once a fire has burnt out all of the available fuel it may seem like it is out, however the soil on the surface and below the fire may still be very hot. If you have lit a fire directly on natural earth, it is important that you not only pour water over the burning hot surface, but also use a shovel to turn over the soil underneath and cool that down with water too. Additionally, fires left burning under the surface may travel along tree roots or organic soils then re-ignite days, weeks or even months later.     

  

Permits to Burn

During the Restricted Burning Period permits are available free of charge by contacting your Local Volunteer Fire Control Officers

Permits to burn are issued subject to certain conditions which are listed on the permit. Failure to comply with all of these conditions may result in a fine of $250. 

All permit holders must comply with the requirements of the Bush Fire Act 1954.

Please consider your neighbours when undertaking a burn and make sure that smoke doesn't drift onto roads causing a traffic hazard.

Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade Assisted Control Burns

The Shire of Denmark Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades are able to assist with controlled burning to reduce fuel levels on your property.

To apply for a Hazard Reduction Burn on your property download and complete the application form with your Local Fire Control Officer and contact the Shire’s Community Emergency Services Manager on (08) 9848 0300

Application Form 

Fees and Charges

This service is provided for an 'at cost' fee which is returned directly to the Brigade.

By using your local bushfire brigade to conduct a controlled burn, you can ensure the burn is carried out by experienced firefighters, in a safe manner, using modern fire fighting equipment. 

Standard Operating Procedure Hazard Reduction Burning

Bush Fire Brigade Districts

The map below shows the volunteer bush fire brigade boundaries in the Shire of Denmark

Communication Disclaimer

The Shire of Denmark will endeavour to communicate when a ban is imposed. However it is the responsibility of individuals to check if bans are in place before engaging in any activity that may be prohibited for the duration of the ban.

Total Fire Bans will be communicated via ABC local radio 630 AM

If you are a farmer or a contractor and would like to register to receive a notification by SMS of Harvest or Vehicle Movement Bans you can 

Complete the online form