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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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;
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.
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.
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?
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).
The number of total fire ban declarations pre fire season from 2015 to 2021.