Fire Prevention and Awareness
The Fire Services Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, has begun giving briefings on the latest fire conditions via an update on youtube. These videos will be released by the Fire Services Commissions generally twice-weekly and will contain information about fire conditions in Victoria. The videos will be published every Monday and Thursday during the fire season. Videos will also be produced on high-risk fire days. To view the latest video, follow this link: http://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/video.html
The Mansfield Shire Municipal Fire Management Plan (MFMP) is a new approach to fire management planning across Mansfield Shire. The plan puts in place an integrated fire management strategy for the shire, as recommended by the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission.
It also links into the Hume Regional Strategic Fire Management Plan to enable planning across municipalities throughout the Hume region and Victoria.The MFMP has been developed over the past 18 months by the Mansfield Shire Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC).
The MFMPC comprises representatives from Mansfield Shire Council, the Country Fire Authority, the Department of Sustainability & Environment, Victoria Police and Hancock’s Victorian Plantations. The MFMPC is a sub-committee of the Mansfield Shire Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC).
The new Municipal Fire Management Plan (MFMP) replaces the old Mansfield Municipal Fire Prevention Plan. The focus of this version of the MFMP is to address the overall risk of bushfire, as directed by the Fire Services Commission Craig Lapsley.
Risks relating to structural fires and hazardous materials incidents will be addressed in future editions of the plan. These additions will be incorporated within the three year life cycle of the plan (MFMP due for full review in 2014).
The draft MFMP was endorsed by council for public comment in July 2012 and was subsequently released on public exhibition for 28 days. Public comments were received and a number of small changes were made to the document. Since then, the draft plan has been endorsed by both the Mansfield Shire MFMPC and the Mansfield Shire MEMPC. Things to be aware of in the cooler months
It has also been viewed and commented upon favorably by the Hume Regional Strategic Fire Management Planning Committee. The final step in the process has also been completed and the plan was endorsed by the Mansfield Shire Council at its meeting on the 20th of November 2012.
Although not ‘owned’ by council, the MFMP is maintained and stored at the council, in a similar way to the Municipal Emergency Management Plan. It will be reviewed annually with a full re-write every 3 years. You can view/download a copy of the plan from the link under Download Files (to the right of your screen).
In this current, cooler Autumn/Winter period you need to be aware of the following:
- A local laws permit is required (throughout the year) to burn off in Township, Residential (including Low Density Residential), Business or Industrial zoned land unless the fire is lit for purpose of cooking food or for heating - when contained in a fire drum.
- CFA restrictions were lifted on 28 February 2011 in the Shires of Mansfield, Benalla, Strathbogie, Wangaratta, Greater City of Shepparton, Gannawarra and Campaspe. Fire restrictions have also been lifted for the Mt Buller Mt Stirling Alpine Resort area.
- Rural and other areas not listed above can light a fire to dispose of tree pruning etc.
- The CFA encourages those lighting such a fire to "Register' their burn-off with VicFire - 1800 668 511. This will assist the CFA greatly in case a member of the public calls it in as an "out of control" fire. Should such a call be received, the operator will ask further queries before turning out a Brigade.
- A person lighting a fire is responsible for any damage caused. Adjoining property owners are to be notified of any planned or proposed fire before ignition.
- Material to be burnt should not be burnt in a manner that will cause a 'nuisance'.
For further information, please contact Council's Emergency Management Officer, Mr Kevin Murphy, on 5775 8555.
The CFA have released a new Home Bushfire Assessment online tool which will help you:
- Calculate your defendable space.
- Assess the amount of defendable space required to protect you from radiant heat during a bushfire. house
- Reduce the risk of ember attack on your property
- Identify and manage the vegetation in the inner and outer zones surrounding your home
- Identify flammable objects around your house that pose a fire risk.
- Assist with the development of your Bushfire Survival Plan (Prepare, Act, Survive).
A complete assessment will take about 20 - 30 minutes and you can access the online tool from the following link:
VBIL has been established to provide information during significant bushfire incidents and to help the community to prepare for bushfire risk.
Call 1800 240 667 to find out:
- Bushfire safety messages
- Community meeting information
- Emergency Relief Centre location details
- Bushfire recovery information
- Total Fire Bans and Fire Restrictions
- DSE fuel reduction burns and other planned burns
- Annual DSE fire planning and community consultation
A new fact sheet is now available, which has been coordinated by the Department of Human Services with input from Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), other Government departments and emergency services agencies.The fact sheet complements the ‘Relocation’ fact sheet circulated to all councils late last year (and available on the CFA website).
The purpose of the 2 page Fire Ready – Summer Planning fact sheet is to bring together key messages relating to heatwave, bushfire plans and relocation to assist communities in understanding new arrangements. The 2 page fact sheet also includes some common Q and As that might be of assistance to you and your family or friends.
Also available from http://www.health.vic.gov.au/bushfire/individuals/prepare.htm
is a copy of the detailed Fire Ready guide that featured in the Herald Sun during November 2009 - (40 pages - 8MB).
Council’s Fire Prevention Officer carries out property inspections during the commencement of the fire danger period - usually October to early December and issue fire hazard direction notices for the clearing of non-complying properties. Fire hazards will continue to be monitored and appropriate action needs to be undertaken by all property owners to maintain their assets throughout the declared fire danger period.
Where works are not completed within the time frame nominated on a Fire Direction notice, Council will arrange for the works to be done and invoice the owner. An on-the spot infringement of $282 will also be issued.
Community Information Guides (previously known as Township Protection Plans) provide more fire safety advice and are created for when the fire risk is seen as significant. With community consultation, CFA has developed CIG’s for Tolmie, Sawmill Settlement, Jamieson, Goughs Bay and Kevington. An all hazard Community Safety Plan also exists for Woods Point—these can be obtained from Council or from the CFA website
(NSP's) are places of last resort, to provide shelter during the passage of a fire, when all other plans have failed. They should not be considered as places to relocate to when leaving early.
Safety and survival cannot be guaranteed at neighbourhood safer places and there are no proposals to offer support or services. They will offer the minimum protection against radiant heat and embers. Road hazards, prevailing conditions and driving to NSP's may pose a significant risk that must be considered within your planning.
At Council's meeting on 19th January 2010 Council adopted its Neighbourhood Safer Places Plan. This plan was amended on 20 July 2010 to further clarify aspects of the approval process. Download
Council has received advice from CFA that a number of NSP's proposed within Mansfield Shire will comply with the CFA criteria for vegetation separation requirements. Two (2) NSPs were designated during 2010 and an additional 5 sites (see detailed listing below) were designated by Council mid 2011. Council is continuing consultation and considering of additional sites.. Please note Neighbourhood Safer Places
(NSP's) are places of last resort, to provide shelter during the passage of a fire, when all other plans have failed.
Most up-to date information on NSPs is available for Mansfield and the whole State via the link to the CFA web page: www.saferplaces.cfa.vic.gov.au/cfa/search/default.htm
Neighbourhood Safer Places within Mansfield Shire
There are currently nine (9) designated NSPs within the Shire (with three more planned)
|Bonnie Doon ||Peppin Point Holiday Park |
Tennis Court/Swimming Pool Area
|75 Peppin Drive Bonnie Doon |
|Howqua ||Camp Howqua Lodge Building ||127 Howqua River Road Howqua |
|Jamieson ||Paradise Point Holiday Park (North of Jamieson) Amenities Block ||11 The Avenue Jamieson |
|Jamieson ||Jamieson Memorial Hall ||Corner Perkins Street and Grey Street, Jamieson |
|Mansfield ||Recreation Reserve Sporting Complex ||Highett Street (between Victoria Street and Curia Street) Mansfield |
|Maindample || Maindample Fire Station ||41 Main Street, Maindample |
|Merrijig ||Grand Mercure Pinnacle Valley Resort |
Reception/Restaurant/Conference facility building
|Mimosa Drive off Mt Buller Road, Merrijig (Mount Buller) |
|Merrijig ||Merrijig Hall ||Cnr Mt Buller Road and Alpha Street Merrijig |
In addition to these, a Fire Refuge exists at Woods Point.
If additional sites are designated, the site will be clearly signed, notice will be provided in the local paper and the updated list of NSPs can be accessed on the CFA and this page.
The CFA web page
also provides a direct link
to locating designated NSP within Mansfield Shire and throughout Victoria
Key Messages and Definitions Based on advice sourced from Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)
- Relocation options may include family and friends places located in a safer area or shopping centres, swimming pools, libraries, community centres, neighbourhood houses, public halls, cinemas, leisure centres and other community facilities out of a high risk area.
- A 'Drop-in-Centre' will be able to be opened at the Mansfield Community Centre (Bank Place - Senior Citizens Room) as has been past practice from late last Summer in the event that those self relocating as a precaution need a quite place to sit (no family or friends to visit). This facility will be able to be established at short notice - on a request from Victoria Police, CFA or other emergency authority. It would be closed in the evening / overnight unless activated as a formal 'relief centre'. Pets would not be welcome.
- An emergency relief centre may be operated during an emergency event. They will only open if there is a fire or other emergency in the area. Activation of an emergency relief centre is determined by the Emergency Management Agencies and Council once the location and scale of an emergency is known, to ensure the safety of those attending the centre.
- Propery address/number
- Nearest crossroad/street
- Details about the fire
- The community cannot rely solely on the Emergency Services to protect them from fires
- Identify potential risks to life and property both inside and outside your home with a view to minimising the impact of loss
- Develop an action plan that recognises methods and treatments of identified risk, with each member of the family involved in the plan development and implementation
- Managing the environment that you live in may be as simple as relocating or rearranging an identified risk to minimise the potential fire threat, i.e. wood heap away from the house, correct LPG gas cylinder storage
Measures that can be implemented
Install smoke detectors near kitchen and bedrooms. Replace the battery each year when daylight savings starts.
- Remove branch heaps, derelict building materials, rake and remove excess surface fine fuels (i.e.: leaves, twigs, bark) retaining a fine layer not in excess of 20mm depth
- Keep grass cut to a height not exceeding 75mm length
- Access tracks to dwellings kept clear of vegetation (airspace of 4m x 4m)
- Cutback branches/foliage overhanging within 2 metres of your roofline. Clean out twigs and leaves from your roof gutter
- LP Gas cylinder storage on east side with pressure relief vents pointing away from buildings
- Isolate chemical storage and toxic materials away from your home
- Do not burn off rubbish unless safe/prepared
Power failure often occurs during a severe fire. To be prepared you should have:
- A battery operated radio (car radio can be used)
- Candles and/or torches
Fire service records indicate fires that kill and injure people occur far more frequently in the family home environment and are not related to wildfire.
- Most fires occur between 5pm & 7pm
- One quarter of fires start in the kitchen - oil & fat igniting cause about 60% of these fires
- 13% start in the lounge room
- 7% start in the bedroom
- One quarter of fires occur on a Saturday in the kitchen
- Candles and oil burners also cause many fires
- Two thirds of children who die in household fires are under 5 years of age
- Smoke inhalation and asphyxiation are the major causes of death due to fire
Wild Fire Threat in Rural Areas
- Dams – make sure you have clear vehicular access at all times
- Static Water Supply Tank – keep full throughout the summer period for fire fighting purposes
- Check Fire Fighting Equipment – have fully functional petrol or diesel powered pump fully fuelled (electricity may fail) and garden hoses that reach all parts of the buildings
- Seal your buildings against spark and ember intrusion
Important Survival Tips
Stop, Drop, Roll
- CALL ‘000’ to report any fire at the earliest opportunity
- Know how to accurately describe your property (i.e. rural number, distance to intersection)
- Plan your exit – ensure that the phone number of the fire brigade is near your phone (or call ‘000’)
- Ensure windows open freely
- Designate a meeting place outside, known by all family members
- Deadlocks (internal security locks) – leave key in lock or on holder close to door
If clothes catch fire, this procedure helps protect your face and respiratory tract from flames and rising heat. Throw a woollen blanket over person to smother flames. Know First Aid
If burns are evident use clean cold water to cool the burn. DO NOT USE – butter, ice, cotton wool or ointments – seek professional help. Exit through toxic smoke by moving close to the floor as the air is coolest and cleanest there.
A community education program made up of small groups of neighbours sharing information and knowledge can minimise potential loss of life and property by developing fire safety strategies.
For further information contact CFA Regional Headquarters, telephone (03) 5721 4122.
- Keep matches and lighters away from the reach of children
- Only teach older children to use matches/lighters in the presence of an adult
- Children need constant supervision near open fireplaces and bar radiators, and should be made aware of the radiant heat transmitted
Further information on fire prevention and community safety can be obtained by contacting Council’s Fire Prevention Officer.
Mansfield Shire Council
33 Highett Street, Mansfield
Telephone: (03) 5775 8555
Facsimile: (03) 5775 2677
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This information is provided for information purposes only. Although all care has been taken in the preparation and updating of the information no claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content. The Mansfield Shire Council, its employees, agents, consultants and representative do not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided or incorporated into it by reference. The information is provided on the basis that all persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of the information and determining if the information is current.