Southern Grampians Shire Council Municipal Fire Prevention Officers will commence property inspections over the coming weeks to identify potential property fire hazards around the region.
Fire Prevention inspections are carried out annually prior to the commencement of the fire danger period to ensure properties within our municipality are maintained in a fire safe condition.
Properties identified as requiring preventative works to reduce fuel loads are issued with Fire Prevention Notices, outlining what actions property owners will need to undertake for the approaching Fire Danger Period.
Under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958, Council has a legal obligation to reduce the risk of fire within the community. Municipal Fire Prevention Officers therefore have the power to inspect and to issue Fire Prevention Notices within the Shire.
Council’s Fire Prevention Officer Jason Barker said it is important for everyone in the community to do their bit to contribute to overall community safety for the 2020/21 fire season.
“By reducing fuel loads on your property you can essentially help to reduce potential fire risk in your area. Decreasing fine fuel loads such as bark, leaves, twigs and long grass from your property can go a long way in minimising the intensity and spread of a potential fire,” said Mr Barker.
“If your property receives a Fire Prevention Notice from Council, it’s important to complete the works as outlined on the notice within the time frame allocated to avoid receiving a fine.
“It is also just as important to maintain your property for the whole of the fire danger period – and not just as once off tidy up,” Mr Barker said.
Residents risk receiving a $1652 fine if the works identified at their property are not carried out by the specified date.
Last year saw 80 Fire Prevention Notices served, with 15 of those property owners receiving infringements due to non-compliance.
“If residents find themselves struggling to complete works as requested by the Fire Prevention Notice deadline due to COVID-19 or any other reasons, property owners are encouraged to contact Council to discuss their options,” said Mr Barker.