Preparing for the summer fire season

Published on 14 September 2020

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Spring is here and it’s time to start preparing your property for the summer bushfire season. 

Council’s Director Planning and Environment, Angela Hughes encouraged residents to prepare and plan now for the fire season ahead. 

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing fires and a well maintained property will help to reduce the risk of fire to our community, including you and your neighbours. 

“You can do this by cutting long grass and cleaning up fine fuels such as weeds, leaves and twigs around your property,” she said. 

You can reduce the risk to your home and property by:

  • removing any overhanging branches, and shrubs over one metre high next to or below windows
  • keeping grass short, and clearing other combustible materials from around your home
  • clearing roof gutters of any leaf litter
  • maintaining any defendable space around your home
  • ensuring any rainwater tanks are accessible and full
  • ensuring you have a bushfire survival plan in place, that includes your pets, and practise it regularly. 

To help residents with the clean-up, Council provides a free green waste drop-off service at transfer stations

Council, in consultation with local CFA brigades, will also lift the burning off restrictions during October 2020 for land less than 4,000 square metres (one acre). When burning off, remember the following:

  • You must not cause a nuisance to neighbours
  • Register your burn off by calling 1800 668 511
  • Monitor weather conditions, especially wind
  • Never leave a burn unattended 
  • Monitor burn for at least seven days after extinguished. 

Council’s Fire Management Officers will begin annual property inspections in October and will issue a fire prevention notice to properties that present a fire risk. The notice will outline works that must be completed by the due date. If the works aren’t completed, a contractor will be engaged to carry out the works and you will be required to pay the costs of the works, a fine of $1,652 and administration fees. 

If you receive a fire prevention notice and have stock grazing on your property, it is important to remember that you are still required to undertake the works requested on the notice unless you can demonstrate that the number of stock is sufficient in reducing the height of the grass, and the overall hazard.  

Council is also busy getting things in order to start roadside slashing as soon as the conditions are right. The annual program to reduce roadside fire hazards usually starts in late October/early November when grass growth slows and starts to dry out. For more information, visit prepare yourself and your property or call (03) 5422 0333