East Gippsland Shire Council is encouraging residents to use the last of the winter weeks to prepare for the coming fire season by cleaning up around their properties.
Some useful activities you may do to prepare include clearing out your gutters, mulching, mixing wet and dry leaves to compost and trying to remove any fuel that can dry out in summer.
Council’s Acting General Manager Place and Community Aaron Hollow said in late winter and early spring windy conditions can make any burning off a risky activity and other fuel reducing measures like slashing, mulching and composting are recommended.
“Indications seem to be that the fire season may be early this year and the time to clean up around your property and reduce the impact of embers on your home is now,” Mr Hollow said.
“You can also look around your garden and property, removing any dead vegetation, plants, and bracken from around your home. Pruning the lower limbs of trees will reduce the ‘fuel ladder’, helping prevent fires on the ground climbing into tree canopies.
“Seal up gaps and areas under your home, verandahs, decks, or balconies. Any loose tiles or gaps in the roof should be repaired and use fire-proof mesh or fly wire to cover windows, crevices and vents,” he said.
“We also encourage residents to think about their neighbours. Check in with them to see if they may need a hand preparing for the fire season.”
People who are not confident using a ladder or working on their roof should consider organising a contractor to undertake these tasks.
“Keeping fire preparation in mind all year round will make the task much more manageable leading up to fire season. The more you prepare your property, the better the chance it will survive a bushfire,” Mr Hollow said.
Green waste disposal is free at Council’s Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Cann River, Bruthen, Buchan, Mallacoota, Marlo, Metung, Omeo, Orbost and Swifts Creek waste facilities.