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Preparations well underway for fire season

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Learn what Council is doing to reduce fire risks around the shire and take a look at the online map showing the roadside slashing program.

Monday 12 December 2016

In preparation for a challenging fire season ahead, Council staff have been busy working to reduce fire hazards to protect lives and properties across Mount Alexander Shire.

“Our annual slashing program started in November and our works and parks and gardens units have been out on a daily basis to cut grass on target roadsides and public land,” said Luke Ryan, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Council recently reviewed the slashing program in consultation with the CFA to ensure strategic firebreaks are in place and emergency vehicle access is maintained. It has also published an online map of the roadside slashing program so the community can see the priority areas.

VicRoads, V-Line and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are also undertaking slashing on key roadsides, railway reserves and Crown Land boundaries.

“We know that many residents are concerned about fire risk this year. One of the main challenges we face is the significant growth of grass and vegetation growth following higher than average rainfalls throughout spring,” said Mr Ryan.

“We must time our approach to slashing as grasses dry out which will minimise the number of times we have to go back to slash again once the grass has completely cured,” he said.

Council is also responsible for undertaking property inspections to ensure residents are reducing the risk of grass or bushfire on their property.

While everyone has a role to play in fire prevention, Council prioritises those properties on the rural and urban interface to reduce the likelihood of fires moving from rural areas into more densely populated areas.

“We have been working with representatives from the local CFA brigades to assess fire hazards and are very pleased by the level of cooperation of property owners,” said Mr Ryan.

“We would specifically like to acknowledge the residents of Fryerstown, Chewton and Newstead for their efforts in maintaining their properties,” he said.

“It is important that residents continue to maintain their properties in a fire safe condition throughout the entire Fire Danger Period, which is likely to last until May.

“I think many people are aware of the high fire risk this season and a lot of effort is clearly going into reducing fuel loads, and storing wood and flammables away from the home.”

To view the roadside slashing map or find out more on fire prevention visit

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