Preparations under way to prevent fire this summer
The City of Ballarat will next week begin grass slashing works as part of its annual fire hazard reduction program.
Conditions across the municipality have been monitored closely by the City of Ballarat’s Emergency Management team, who have determined the appropriate time to begin the program.
The fire hazard reduction program involves preparing the community by undertaking inspections of council and private land to mitigate the fire risk during the Fire Danger Period.
The City of Ballarat’s fire prevention program includes reducing fire fuels such as long grass, supporting the community during emergencies and working with fire agencies and other emergency services to prepare for the fire season.
It also includes education and supporting the community before, during and after an emergency event.
As part of the program, slashing on City of Ballarat-owned properties will begin on 14 November in the north-western area of the municipality, which traditionally dries out first.
Grassland curing information, which is available on the Country Fire Authority website, is used to determine the best time to begin slashing.
Timing grass slashing in the lead-up to summer is vital. Although fire safety and prevention are the number one priority, if grass is slashed too early it can grow back quickly and require repeated slashing throughout summer.
The City of Ballarat is also encouraging people to start preparing their own properties for summer and making them as fire safe as possible.
Pre-season advice letters have been sent to vacant landholders with advice relating to property preparation, with further inspections to be carried out.
Properties that are considered hazardous may be issued with a Fire Prevention Notice, which requires fire risks to be removed. These notices are issued in accordance with the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 and the Fire Rescue Victoria Act 1958.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said with a hot and dry summer expected, it was crucial people kept fire safety front of mind.
“Preparation is the key when it comes to fire prevention and as a community, we have a shared responsibility to keep ourselves and each other safe,” he said.
“We also have Free Green Waste Week coming between Saturday 11 November and Sunday 19 November, which is the perfect opportunity to clean your yard by disposing of your domestic green waste free of charge at City of Ballarat Transfer Station.”
PROPERTY PREPARATION TIPS (Courtesy of CFA)
- Move your winter woodpile away from the house or sheds
- Prune tree branches so they are not overhanging the roof or touching walls
- Clear your gutters
- Keep grass shorter than 10cm
- Remove leaves and twigs from around your property
- Prune back plants and garden beds near doors and windows
- Test any systems that are part of your fire plan such as sprinklers, pumps and generators
- Check that your home and contents insurance is current and includes a level of cover in line with increased building standards and regulations in bushfire risk areas
- If you are burning off to remove green waste, check if a permit is required and register your burn-off at Fire Permits Victoria (https://www.firepermits.vic.gov.au)
- Make sure your household has a Bushfire Survival Plan
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