Are You Fire Ready?
Published on 16 November 2022
As a result of this year’s high rainfall and the warmer weather that has followed, we are experiencing unusual grass and vegetation growth. Council is asking the community to ensure their properties are prepared to reduce the fire risk ahead of the summer months.
Some recommendations for ensuring your property is fire safe include:
- Keep your grass mowed
- Rake up dry vegetation
- Clear your gutters
- Store flammable materials away from the house
- Store LPG cylinders upright and make sure the vent faces away from the asset
- Get your bushfire plan ready (or updated) using resources such as the CFA website.
Council is responsible for making sure the risk of wildfire is reduced across the Shire and has commenced the annual property inspections of private land. Fire Prevention Notices (FPN) will be issued where required directing property owners to take action to remove any identified fire hazards.
Additional time has been allowed for residents to comply with the FPN this year due to the above average rainfall limiting vehicle access to properties preventing owners from undertaking normal fire season preparations. The additional time also acknowledges that there will be a delay to vegetation drying out and becoming potential fire fuel.
Mayor Cr James Tehan said that the timeframe for compliance on any Fire Prevention/ Directions Notice has been increased initially to 4 weeks to allow more time for the work to be performed.
“Council takes fire prevention very seriously as we know how devastating fires can be for our community. We all have a role to play in keeping our community safe,” he said.
“The works listed on the notices are designed to reduce radiant heat, fire intensity, direct flame impact and fires due to ember attack.
“Please remember to contact Council to seek an extension of time if you cannot comply with the notice directions by the due date.”
For those that are unable to complete the required maintenance themselves, a list of local garden and property maintenance contractors who can assist is available on Council’s website and distributed with all fire direction notices.
If the works required have not been carried out by the due date, the property owner will routinely receive an infringement notice and Council will engage a contractor to carry out the works with costs passed on to the owner.
Resources and information about emergency management planning and how to prepare your property to reduce the fire risk can be found at cfa.vic.gov.au or mansfield.vic.gov.au.