Grain Harvesting Code of Practice

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					                                                                           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      hassam.terry@cfs.org.au
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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Description: Grain Harvesting Code of Practice