TOTAL FIRE BAN

A Total Fire Ban is declared when a fire is likely to spread rapidly or if widespread fires are already burning and firefighting resources are stretched.

What is a Total Fire Ban?

A Total Fire Ban (TFB) is declared on days when fires are most likely to threaten lives and property. This is because of predicted extreme fire weather or when there are already widespread fires and firefighting resources are stretched.

Occasionally TFBs may be declared outside of a fire season (such as in May or June) due to other factors such as higher temperatures and expected strong winds preceding a storm front.

On a Total Fire Ban day, it is illegal to light an open-air fire or conduct any activity that could start a fire. You can find the full list of prohibited activities below. Some of these activities are prescribed in the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 meaning they can be carried out during a TFB, providing you comply with the conditions listed here.

Businesses, public authorities or industries may be given an exemption for activities not prescribed in the Regulations, as long as conditions are met to ensure the activity does not start a fire. You can find more information about exemptions below.

What you need to know about Total Fire Bans

  • TFBs are announced either in the afternoon, the day before, or on the actual day.

  • TFBs affect farmers, campers, construction workers and residents (urban and rural).

  • TFBs usually start at midnight and last for 24 hours.

  • The need for the ban is assessed throughout the day and may be cancelled depending on conditions.

  • Exemptions can be granted for some industries and activities.

  • Any burning permits held by residents or landowners are fully suspended until the ban is over.

  • TFBs are declared using the whole local government boundary.

You can view all declared bans on the Emergency WA website.

What are the penalties for breaching a Total Fire Ban?

You could receive a fine of $1,000 by police, local government or DFES for breaching a Total Fire Ban. Upon conviction, you could receive a fine of $25,000 and/or be jailed for 12 months.

If you see someone acting in a manner that breaches a TFB, contact the relevant local government directly or report via email or via the Total Fire Ban Hotline (1800 709 355). If the behaviour is related to arson, report this to police immediately.

Total Fire Ban Frequently Asked Questions

When a Total Fire Ban is in place, it’s important to be aware of what you can and can’t do. Here’s a list of FAQs to help you understand the rules during a TFB.

During a Total Fire Ban
What you are not allowed to do
During a Total Fire Ban
What you are allowed to do, with caution

Exemptions during Total Fire Bans & Restricted and Prohibited Burning Periods

Total Fire Ban exemptions are required for any activity not prescribed in the Bush Fires Regulations 1954 which could cause or is likely to cause a fire. These activities include fireworks, programmed hot fire training, rail grinding, and religious and cultural ceremonies. Exemptions during Total Fire Bans:

  • Require approval from DFES
  • Cover specific times and locations
  • Can be changed or revoked by DFES at any time
  • Must be submitted at least 6-8 weeks  prior to the planned commencement of the activity or project
  • May take at between 6-8 weeks to process

An exemption is also required to carry out activities which involve the use of fire during the Local Governments restricted and prohibited burning periods. These activities include but are not limited to;

  • Catering activity
  • Gas flaring activity
  • Programmed hot fire training
  • Rail grinding and flash butt welding activities
  • Religious and cultural ceremonies; and
  • Any other activity that uses an open flame

Exemptions issued under section 25A of the Bush Fires Act permit the lighting and/or use of fire during the restricted and prohibited burning periods declared for the Local Government Area in which the work is being undertaken.

Total Fire Ban Prescribed Activities – Online Notification Form

An exemption is no longer required for some activities carried out by business, industry and public authorities as they are now prescribed in the Regulations.

In order to conduct any of the following activities during a Total Fire Ban (TFB), there are specific conditions which need to be complied with. Click the relevant activity below for further details.

Before conducting any of the above activities during a Total Fire Ban, DFES and the relevant Local Government Authority must be notified via this Online Notification Form at least 30 minutes prior to the activity commencing.

If the activity is occurring within 3 kilometres from land managed by the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), the relevant Parks and Wildlife Service, District or Regional Duty Officer must be notified at least 30 minutes prior to the activity commencing. Contact details for each DBCA Regional Area can be found here.

You can find more information on the recent changes to TFB exemptions here.

How do I check if there’s a Total Fire Ban in place?

Call TFB Hotline on
1800 709 355

Call 13 DFES
(133 337)

Follow DFES on
Facebook or Twitter

Listen to ABC local radio and other media outlets

Look for local government roadside Fire Danger Rating signs

Download the resources

Total Fire Bans Fact Sheet

A quick overview on what you can and can’t do when a Total Fire Ban is declared.

Need this fact sheet in another language?

Summary of changes to Regulations Fact Sheet

This fact sheet assists operators who previously required an exemption under section 22C of the Bush Fires Act 1954 to carry out an activity in the open air during a Total Fire Ban (TFB).

Total Fire Ban Declarations 2015 - 2021

The number of total fire ban declarations pre fire season from 2015 to 2021.

More information