Green growth spurt means time for fire prep

As continuing wet weather promotes vegetation growth, it’s time to get properties fire-ready and practise fire plans with your families.

Corangamite Shire Municipal Emergency Management Officer Sharna Whitehand said a wet spring meant more growth and greater fuel loads toward the end of summer.

“You may need to cut vegetation more than once,” she said. “Getting on top of it early will make it easier to manage later on when conditions are more demanding.”

The Fire Danger Period (FDP) usually runs from December to May each year and Ms Whitehand encouraged residents to clear around their properties before summer arrives.

“The peak fire season is less than two months away so it’s a good time to start preparing now instead of leaving it until the last minute,” Ms Whitehand said.

“Tidying up around your yard, especially in gutters and around your house, can help safeguard your family and neighbours against bushfires.”

Any flammable material, such as grass more than 10 cm long, will need to be cut. Fallen branches, dead vegetation and items such as newspapers may need to be removed. If you have one, clear your firebreak, and move firewood away from your home.

Council Fire Prevention Officers have been inspecting properties around the Shire to identify any dangerous fuel levels that need to be cleaned up.

Fire prevention notices have been issued to property owners if the officer found anything on their land that would be a danger to life or property in a fire.

Ms Whitehand said anyone who received a notice would have three or four weeks to clean up before the CFA declares the Fire Danger Period.

“We’ve issued 100 fewer notices than last year. High numbers of landowners have been doing the right thing. There’s been a really good response.”

If residents have been issued with a fire prevention notice, the owner of the land must comply by the due date or face a $1660 fine, as set by the State Government.

To help residents get ready for fire season, Council is offering free domestic green waste disposal to Shire residents at the Naroghid Landfill and all transfer stations until Sunday 13 December. Kerbside greenwaste collections have also been doubled, with weekly pickups until Saturday 2 January to offset the public holiday.

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