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Time to get ready for the fire season

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Friday 27 October 2017

With a high risk of bushfires predicted by forecasters this summer, Mount Alexander Shire Council is urging all property owners to prepare their properties for the Fire Danger Period.

“How you prepare your property helps to protect the lives and properties of others from the threat of fire,” said Luke Ryan, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Dried undergrowth vegetation from last year means that on hot, dry, windy days, fires will start and spread quickly. This means it’s important to get prepared now,” he said.

To prepare your property for the Fire Danger Period, make sure that you undertake the following over the next few weeks:
• Mow or slash grass below 75mm on your residential property
• Remove leaves from gutters and stacks of wood, rubbish or branches from near your home.
• Check your insurance.

If you own a rural property you should also:
• Create a 10-20 metre wide fire break around the boundary of your property by cutting or slashing grass and weeds below 75mm. This is particularly important for boundaries of paddocks that adjoin residential and woodlands.
• Cut or slash grass on a 30 metre radius around your house and other assets (including your neighbours’).

To assist residents to prepare for the fire season Council is offering free green waste disposal at the Castlemaine and Maldon waste disposal centres from Saturday 28 October to Sunday 12 November. Accepted materials include tree prunings, garden clippings, grass and leaf litter (no weeds).

“We urge everyone to make the most of this free green waste disposal period and clean up your property now,” said Mr Ryan.

Fire prevention inspections start in November, with the aim to identify properties that need to reduce vegetation or fuel loads to reduce the risk of fire.

Council prioritises inspections north of the shire and will move south. The initial focus is on rural properties close to towns.

“These properties are targeted because they are the ones that can significantly reduce the likelihood of a bushfire moving from farms or rural locations into more densely populated areas,” said Mr Ryan.

“We’re waiting for confirmation from the CFA about when the fire restrictions will start in the shire, but we expect them to be in place by late November, early December.

“Residents are reminded to monitor the CFA website for announcements on when the fire restrictions will commence in the shire,” he said.

Photo by Blair Dellemijn, CFA

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