Council reminds owners to maintain vacant blocks

Greater Shepparton City Council is reminding land owners to ensure long grass on their property is dealt with now leading into the summer fire danger period.

Owners should cut back or reduce fine fuels including long or excessive grass and weeds and continue to maintain their properties throughout the year.

In rural areas, creating and maintaining fire breaks will assist in reducing the intensity of a fire if it occurred, as fine fuels are responsible for the major increase in fire intensity and spread.

Greater Shepparton City Council Manager Citizens Services, Laurienne Winbanks, said warm weather is expected as we head towards summer, which can lead to grass growth around the municipality increasing rapidly.

“Everyone needs to be aware of their responsibilities to maintain their properties, particularly those in areas where grass fires can quickly take hold,” she said.

“Keeping vegetation at an acceptable level will assist in reducing the risk to other home owners and residents.”

Community Rangers have now commenced inspections on vacant land and properties in the urban/rural fringe.

“If we receive a complaint about excessive vegetation or grass on vacant or unkempt land, Council officers will inspect the property and if required, issue a Notice to Comply or a Fire Prevention Notice,” Ms Winbanks said.

Notices to Comply require owners to reduce the excessive grass and weeds across the entire property. Fire Prevention Notices require the property owner to clean up and reduce fine fuels such as bark, leaves, twigs and long grass either as a fire break or the entire property.

If you receive a notice, please ensure that the required works are carried out by the completion date, and then maintain your properties for the duration of the Fire Danger Period.

If you have carried out the works between the time the officer inspected your property and the time you receive the notice, then you don’t need to worry. Just ensure you maintain your property in this state for the duration of the Fire Danger Period.

Ms Winbanks says with the weather warming up snakes may also become more active. If you have a concern regarding a snake on your property, please contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186 for advice.

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