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Fire prevention

Council has an obligation under the Country Fire Authority Act to undertake fire prevention measures within the municipality and ensure its residents take every opportunity to clean up their property to minimise any fire hazards.

Fire Danger Period

The CFA have declared that the 2016/2017 Fire Danger Period for Mount Alexander Shire will end at 1.00am on Tuesday 18 April 2017.

Once the Fire Danger Period has ended, fires in the open air will be permitted to occur but must be held in accordance with CFA regulations and Councils Local Laws.

Make sure you adhere to CFA regulations and Council Local Laws.

Burning off during the Fire Danger Period

During the Fire Danger Period burning off is not permitted unless you have a permit to burn. Applications are considered on a case by case basis but generally limited to agricultural purposes. To discuss obtaining a permit please contact Council's Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on 03 5471 1700 or go to the permit application form.

Roadside slashing program

Council's annual slashing program has been reviewed in consultation with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to ensure strategic firebreaks are in place and emergency vehicle access is maintained. Our shire is facing significant grass and vegetation growth following higher than average rainfalls throughout spring 2016. The annual slashing program started in November 2016 and Council's Works and Parks and Gardens units have been out on a daily basis to cut grass on target roadsides and public land.

The roadside slashing program map identifies the strategic fire breaks that are being cut as part of the roadside slashing program.

Residents are reminded that under Local Law 3, an owner or occupier of property in a residential area must ensure that the nature strip immediately adjoining the property is kept and maintained in good condition and order so as not to be unsightly or detrimental to the general amenity of the neighbourhood.

Burning off outside the Fire Danger Period

If your land is 2000 square metres or less you must obtain a permit to burn, unless:
1. The fire is a barbeque or campfire that complies with the Country Fire Authority Act 1958; or
2. An incinerator on any Tuesday and Saturday in compliance with the Country Fire Authority Act 1958.

If your land is more than 2000 square metres you do not require a permit to light a fire in the open air.
Prior to lighting any fire you should ensure:
• Any combustible material is cleared at least 3 metres in all directions from around the fire
• A connected hose or 20 litre container of water is available to ensure the fire does not escape
• An adult or responsible person must be in attendance at all times until the fire is extinguished
• The fire does not create a nuisance to your neighbours or a visibility hazard to road users
• Any offensive, noxious or toxic material is not being burnt

You are required to register your burn off.

Visit the permits page to download the Local Law 3 application form to light an incinerator or fire in the open.

Preparing your property

You can reduce the risk to your home caused by a bushfire by taking the time to prepare your property well before the bushfire season starts.

1. Clearing grass and vegetation
2. Slash grass and keep it under 75mm high
3. Rake up and remove dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark
4. Keep gutters clean of leaf litter
5. Remove any rubbish or material that is likely to cause, maintain or promote a fire
6. Remove all noxious weeds from your land
7. Locate woodpiles away from the house
8. Place metal flyscreens or window shutters over windows
9. Prepare your bushfire survival plan

For more information about how to prepare your property download a copy of the CFA Fire Ready Kits. If you want to burn off, check the current fire restrictions and burning off requirements

Property inspections

Prior to and during the fire season, the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer (MFPO), inspects properties within the Shire to ensure owners have complied with the Act and removed any fire hazards on their property. Failure to reduce or clear fire hazards may lead to fire prevention orders being issued. Non-compliance of these orders may lead to heavy penalties being imposed.

The first round of inspections has been completed, and further inspections will be undertaken during December 2016.

If you are concerned about fire hazards at a particular property, you can submit a service request via the home page. Please provide as much detail as possible about the location of the property and the hazard.

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