With a predicted ‘above normal’ fire season expected this summer, Mitchell Shire residents are urged to prepare their properties and bushfire survival plans.
The reminder is part of the Victorian Government's annual Fire Action Week, which has been brought forward to 13-20 October due to the Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook for dry and warm conditions with little long-term rainfall.
The week is a timely opportunity for people to understand their fire risk, prepare their properties and make a bushfire survival plan.
During Fire Action Week and throughout the fire danger period, residents are encouraged to:
- Plan what to do in the event of a fire and know where to access information on high-risk days.
- Keep their property’s grass short.
- Remove dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark from around the home.
- Remove or prune shrubs near windows and under branches of mature trees.
- Cut back overhanging tree branches within 10 metres of houses and keep gutters clear.
- Remove other material that can burn from around the home such as boxes, furniture and woodpiles.
- Be prepared for power failures which could also affect NBN connections and other telecommunications.
- Pack an emergency kit of essentials such as important documents, first-aid, medications, blankets, water and a battery powered radio.
- Familiarise yourself with the nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place - Place of Last Resort if there is one near you.
- Review home insurance.
- Make a plan for pets and livestock on high fire risk days and in the event of an emergency.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said Fire Action Week was the perfect chance to talk to friends, family and neighbours about your fire plans.
“Mitchell Shire is a very high-risk bushfire area, and with a dry winter and dry, warm summer to come, it is important that our residents take the necessary steps to ensure they are best prepared should a bushfire occur,” Cr Sanderson said.
“Preparing and preparing early is the key. Now is the time to identify your fire risk, clean up your property and make a survival plan that includes what you will do if your plan fails.
"This applies to the whole shire but I would also encourage those properties who have been added to the Bushfire Management Overlay to take a much closer look at their Bushfire Survival Plan."
Cr Sanderson said it was important to remember that you don’t have to live in rural parts of the shire to be at risk.
“Wherever you live, you still need to prepare for fire. Residential developments that back onto bush or grassland are still at risk and even urban areas face some risk,” Cr Sanderson said.
Permits to burn off are required from 1 October to the start of the CFA Declared Fire Danger Period. Permits will not be issued once the CFA Fire Danger Period starts.
To assist people in cleaning up their properties, Mitchell Shire Council is offering free green waste drop offs at Council’s Resource Recovery Centres in Broadford, Pyalong, Seymour and Wallan during weekends in November (November 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26).
Green waste can be dropped off at the centres all year round (fees apply – except on the weekends in November outlined above).
Natural wood and tree branches (under 300mm diameter) and grass clippings will need to be sorted from non-green waste items before arrival and green waste must be free of declared noxious weeds, so it can be reused as mulch.
Any loads containing items other than green waste will be charged accordingly.
Council is also doing its bit to prepare for the fire season with the annual roadside slashing program under development, property inspections starting soon and our parks and open space maintenance program underway.
Council will also be holding a free community BBQ at Kingsgate Village, 40 Royal Parade, Kilmore on Friday 20 October from 11am to 1pm.
Emergency services will be in attendance to provide valuable community safety information.
Meanwhile, the CFA is also holding an open day at the Broadford CFA brigade on Saturday 21 October from 10am-2pm. For more information on the open day, please click HERE.
For more information on getting your property prepared, please visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au.
> Getting fire ready
> Burning off
> Green waste collection
> Neighbourhood Safer Place - Place of Last Resort
> How Council prepares for fire season
> Animals in emergencies
> Heat health information
> Emergency relief and recovery
> Mitchell Shire Council Fire Information Facebook Page