A Local, Actual GFDI of 35 The Code of Practice is the cut-off point for grain harvesting operations. Applying the grAsslAnd Fire dAnger index (gFdi) There has been considerable discussion about the best method to describe the conditions that will give a reasonable chance to suppress a fire. There is clear agreement that the actual local Grassland Fire Danger Index (GFDI), not the Forecast GFDI, is the most objective measure of fire Grain Harvesting behaviour and therefore chance of suppression. Tools to help determine GFDI The GFDI is calculated using a mathematical relationship between the following weather parameters: applicable to Grain Harvesting • Fuel Curing expressed as a percentage (for grain harvesting curing is assumed to be 100%) • Air Temperature in degrees Celsius grassland Fire danger index 35 Chart (Refer to separate information sheet) Code of Practice • Wind Speed in km/h Bureau of Meteorology Website A Basis for District Harvesting • Relative Humidity as a percentage. Weather Meters (That measure Temperature, Codes of Practice From the GFDI’s – Fire Behaviour Relationships table (refer to separate information sheet), it can be seen that Wind Speed and Relative Humidity) a fire occurring at an GFDI of 40 or greater is unlikely to portable Weather stations be controlled by the fire fighting resources available to a harvesting operation. A GFDI of 20 should provide a successful suppression – but becomes too restrictive for harvesting operations. (Analysis of the limited data available from fire cause statistics indicates that large fires escape from harvesting operations at GFDI at around 35.) For further information, please contact: There are often cited examples of problems with existing local codes relating to coastal harvesting compared to Terry Hassam harvesting more inland. “Due to our high humidity we Telephone (08) 8463 4105 need to be able to harvest when it’s hotter and windier”. Email email@example.com This issue, and the issue of weather variations between different districts will be addressed in the proposal. The use of the GFDI in the code of practice will allow the coastal farmer with high humidity problems to continue harvesting in higher temperatures and higher wind speeds and still be within the same GFDI. www.cfs.sa.gov.au Fire History and The Current Situation The Code of Practice Grain Harvesting During previous Fire Danger Seasons, fires have been started legislAtion tiers in the Code by harvesting operations and have escaped. Although grain harvesting is not the cause of the greatest number of fires, fires Current legislation does not prevent harvesting in adverse fire There are 2 tiers within the code: a State Code and that occur as a result of grain harvesting generally cause greater weather and is limited to providing requirements to control the supporting Local Procedures. loss (in hectares) than other avoidable fires. Research of available outbreak of a fire: equipment, fire breaks etc… The State Code of Practice data would indicate that the conditions under which harvesting Some other jurisdictions have legislation to prevent harvesting • Specifies the conditions and practices for is undertaken are at times of very high fire danger. Considerable operations on days of a Total Fire Ban. harvesting operations. losses have been incurred, including neighbouring properties where civil action for damages has resulted. The Local Procedures are developed by the Local Government District Bushfire Prevention Committees and specify how the State Code is implemented: Fire Cause 04/05 03/04 02/03 • Who measures the local actual against the parameters ToTal – rural Fires (all Causes) 1459 1375 1645 specified in the State Code (measured by individual grain Harvesting – Build up of Material 7 9 12 harvesters – or by a local committee) • How the imposition and lifting of harvesting bans etc are Harvesting – engine/exhaust 3 3 5 communicated within the local harvesting community. Harvesting – Mechanical Failure 28 19 11 Harvesting – static electricity 9 2 6 Contents oF the Code Harvesting – other 12 20 17 Scope This section describes who the code of practice applies to As a result of community and farming industry concerns, and VAriAtions in loCAl Codes oF prACtiCe and the activities that are covered by the code. calls from Government for harvesting bans on days of very high There is a huge variation in the codes of practice relating Legislation fire danger, a review of harvesting codes of practice (COP) has to grain harvesting. Some local areas have codes that are This is simply a restatement of the existing legislation. occurred. A sub-committee membership was established for this documented and promulgated – others have none. review and it consisted of representatives from the SA Farmers’ Required Practices Federation and the South Australian Country Fire Service. There are also large variations in the contents of To be fully compliant with the Code of Practice operators the different codes, in both parameters to cease involved in grain harvesting must adopt the practices in this Harvesting Codes of Practice have been adopted in an harvesting and preventative measures. ad-hoc manner in difference local areas of the state. Currently, section of the code. little support has been given to the introduction of legislated Some local codes do not specify any weather parameters Recommended Practices harvesting bans, although both organisations acknowledge that at which harvesting will cease; others have limited Recommended Practices are not required to be adopted should industry self-regulation fail, further regulation may be parameters (temperature and wind speed) which, by grain harvesting operators to be compliant with the required. A generic code of practice offers a timely solution for if extrapolated with different relative humidity, allow code. However consideration should be given to adopting grain harvesting operations during the Fire Danger Season. for harvesting operations in extreme conditions. these practices.
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