Declared Fire Danger Period commences 9 January 2023

Declared Fire Danger Period throughout the Macedon Ranges Shire commences at 1am on Monday 9 January 2023.

While members of CFA brigades and groups across the Macedon Ranges are preparing for the bushfire season, CFA and Council are urging the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.

Victoria is one of the most fire-prone areas in the world and bushfires and grassfires are a part of life. They start quickly, often without warning and can threaten lives and properties within minutes. All Victorians need to know how to plan for and respond to fire and other emergencies.

Now is the time for landowners to prepare their property ahead of the introduction of the Fire Danger Period. The location, type and ongoing maintenance of vegetation within a property can significantly reduce the impact of a bushfire on any house.

By removing fine fuels now, you may contribute to how a fire impacts your property and reduces the potential of ember attack. Anywhere embers can lodge or enter your house can start a fire and in order to reduce the impact of embers there are some important building improvements that are recommended. For those on the land, don’t forget that fire management planning on farms involves protecting your assets and your people.

David Allen, CFA’s North West Region Manager Community Safety, provided comment that “this year with the unseasonal weather conditions and the approaching holiday season, we have decided to give the community as much notice as possible of the introduction of the Fire Danger Period.”

He stated that “while municipalities and government agencies will be working to have their fire prevention slashing works completed by the 9th of January, we ask the community to also prepare their properties, reduce grass and fire litter and have their fire plans discussed and prepared within their family”.

Mr Allen also added that “this year in particular, we ask everyone to be aware of the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS). New signs are currently being installed, so you need to know what each rating means and what action YOU will take. Above all understand YOUR individual fire risk, your environment and prepare and plan accordingly.”

The responsibility for surviving the fire season is shared between emergency services and the community. Everyone has a role in ensuring our community’s safety and everyone needs to prepare their property for bushfire.

You don’t have to live near bush to be at risk of fire. Grassfire can be just as dangerous as bushfire: know what to do if you live close to grass in a rural area or where the suburbs meet grasslands and remember you don’t have to live in the country to be at risk of fire. If you live near areas that have significant bush, forest, long grass, or scrub, then you need to plan ahead for the fire season. One simple thing to consider is do you know how far an ember can travel before starting a new fire.

Maria Weiss, Director Community at Macedon Ranges Shire Council, said: “The declaration of the Fire Danger Period is a reminder to residents of the importance of preparation and getting their properties bushfire ready.

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

“In the Macedon Ranges, we live in one of the most fire-prone areas of Victoria. You can reduce the risk to your home from a bushfire by taking the time to prepare your property well before the bushfire season starts.”

“Let’s work together and take early action to prevent fires threatening lives, property and community.”

Leaving early is always the safest option to protect yourself and your family, and means leaving the area before a fire starts – not when you can see flames or smell smoke.

Defending your property is risky – you could be seriously injured, suffer psychological trauma or die.

Remember, fires are unpredictable and plans can fail. Having a back-up plan that identifies your shelter or last resort options may save your life if you are caught in a fire. When preparing your fire plan, you also need to plan and prepare for the safety of pets.

Burning off of grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is generally permitted outside of the Fire Danger Period but you must check for information specific to your area.

If you are using fire to clean up your property, you should notify authorities. No burning off is permitted during the Fire Danger Period without a Permit to Burn, which can be applied for through the Fire Permits Victoria

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