Fire Danger Period to start next week
November 13, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Council is urging landowners to act now to clean up their properties in preparation for the upcoming fire season.
Council’s Fire Awareness Officer Tristan Crews said the official commencement date for the Fire Danger Period is next Monday, November 19.
“Once the Fire Danger Period begins, anyone wanting to burn off on their property will need a permit from Council or CFA,” Mr Crews said.
“Council will start its annual fire prevention inspection program this week to assess potential fire hazards on properties within the shire.
“Some properties have already been inspected and issued Fire Prevention Notices where there is potential threat or where compliance has been an issue in the past,” he said.
“Some of these early inspections have been as a result of local residents contacting Council.”
Mr Crews encouraged property owners to contact Council if they had questions about cleaning up their property.
“The fire inspection program will continue through to the end of the declared Fire Danger Period in May next year.
“Property clean-up is primarily about reducing hazards and the risks of potential loss of life and property,” he said.
“Reducing fuels such as grass, twigs, leaves and bark on properties ensures that if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold on either your property or that of your neighbours.
“Being fire ready is everyone’s responsibility.”
Mr Crews said, in the case of a potential fire hazard being identified, property owners or occupiers would be issued a Fire Prevention Notice from Council detailing steps that must be undertaken to manage the risk on the property.
“Failure to act on a notice can result in an infringement of $1612, which is set by the State Government, plus clean-up fees and costs,” he said.
“We’d much rather work with landowners than issue fines, so if anyone needs advice about cleaning up their property we encourage them to contact Council’s Compliance Unit on 5232 9400.”
More information on being fire ready is available at www.colacotway.vic.gov.au/My-property/Fire-and-emergencies
Landowners’ Fire Ready Responsibilities
Vacant land and small residential blocks - Cut and remove all grass to a height not exceeding 100 millimetres; remove general rubbish, tree and garden waste, and fine fuels such as leaves and bark.
Hobby Farms - Prepare a 10 metre fuel reduction zone on all external boundaries. Grass heights should not exceed 100 millimetres. Maintain up to a 20 metre fuel reduction zone around dwellings, outbuildings and sheds.
Farms - Create a fuel reduction zone of 10 metres around dwellings, outbuildings and sheds. Maintain a fuel reduction zone of 5 metres on all external boundaries where normal cropping and grazing activity is not occurring.