Lions River Fire Protection Association

Fire Break Preparation & Prescribed / Controlled Burning PDF Print E-mail


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Controlled / Prescribed Burning: During the period 1 May - 31 October, annually (or as revised by the LRFPA) no fire of any nature is permitted in the open air, unless in a designated area such as a fire place.  No burning of refuse pits, grass stacks, garden refuse stacks, brush burning, forestry slash burning or any other type of open air fire is permitted during the mentioned months, unless otherwise authorized. Please contact Lions River FPA if you are unsure and ask the relevant questions.

Boundary fire breaks with neighbours - All landowners - members and non-members - must prepare fire breaks on his or her side of their common boundaries in order to reduce the risk of spread of fire from or over the property. A recommended 10-15 m fire break width on each side of the boundary, taking terrain and fuel load conditions (i.e risk) into consideration , is recommended.

Member’s duties when preparing fire breaks

1. Generally burning prohibitions / regulations are in place between the 1st May and 31st October – consult with LRFPA regarding burning dates and always ensure you have obtained a permit to burn.
2. No burning of any nature may take place on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, unless otherwise authorized by the Lions River FPA.
3. No burning of fire breaks or controlled burning for grass management purposes, if the Lions River FPA or FireHawk (to whom the Lions River FPA has delegated this authority to issue permits), have said NO, to burning for whatever reason.

Reporting of fires - A member (and any person) who has reason to believe that a fire on his or her land or the land of an adjoining owner may endanger life, property or the environment, must immediately take all reasonable steps to notify -

  • the Fire Protection Officer and or the FPA, and
  • the owners of adjoining land; and
  • do everything in his or her power to stop the spread of the fire.

COMPULSORY: Pre-burning procedures / Permits - ATTENTION ALL LANDOWNERS -  whether a member or not - Please read the Lions River FPA Rules & Regulations (revert to Document Downloads page)  and ensure that you comply with the type of burning activity as and when permitted during the course of the year in the LRFPA area of operation - the onus is on the landowner / landuser to ensure full understanding in this regard and the Rules and Regulations are stricter during the period 1 May - 31 October with regard to any FIRES IN THE OPEN AIR.  Verify the fire danger index for the day and the forecast for the next 24-48 hours. One must check the local Fire Danger Index (FDI) – PLEASE CONTACT FireHawk or LRFPA (033-330 6369 / 073 704 5862 / 078 392 1435) to receive a burning permit number for the day.


The Lions River FPA has the authority to allow or disallow burning on any specific day in accordance with the law.

Post-burning procedures:
Mopping up:

  • The entire fire line must be adequately contained. All smoldering embers must be extinguished with water.
  • A minimum 1.5 m safe fire line area must be created along the entire perimeter of the burn, especially in forested areas.
  • A grass burn does require patrol if the forecast weather index is in the Orange or Red FDI the following day, for possible flare ups.
  • Fire which have not been fully extinguished must not be left unattended.

District and regional roads:
To burn fire breaks safely along side a district or regional road the following are required:

  • Appropriate signage,
  • red flags, to be displayed on either side of the fire / smoke to warn traffic, and
  • reflective vests, and
  • notify KZN Transport or N3TC or SANRAL.
  • All other types of burning in a road reserve during the fire season will be regarded as an offense.


Sawmill / Charcoal sites

The production site and timber yards must be surrounded by a fire break of a minimum of 15 metres in width. Adequate equipment must be installed to reduce the spread of fire and dampen all standing timber logs and / or waste, should a fire occur.  No fires are permitted in the open air during the period 1 May - 31 October, unless precautionary measures have been put in place and the Fire Danger Index permits such burning AND the Lions River FPA has authorized such burning activity.



All landowners whom need to comply with the National Veld & Forest Fire Act, whether a member or non-member of the Lions River FPA and on whose land a veldfire may start or burn or from whose land it may spread must have such equipment, protective clothing and trained personnel for extinguishing fires and ensure that in his or her absence responsible persons are present to assist control and extinguish the fire. Please refer to the guidelines as presented in the Rules and Regulations - document download - see Documents

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