Preparing for the fire season
- As a resident in a high fire risk area, there are important things you need to do in the lead up to, and during, the fire season.
- We conduct a number of activities to prepare our shire and residents for the possibility of bushfires.
- As part of our Fire Hazard Inspection Program, we inspect properties in the lead up to summer and during the CFA declared Fire Danger Period to ensure they are properly prepared for the fire season.
- If you do not prepare your property, you may be issued with a fire prevention notice.
- You may be eligible for an exemption from current travel restrictions in order to prepare your property for the fire season. More info: Apply for a travel exemption to prepare your property for the fire season
What you need to do to prepare your property
Before you prepare your property for the fire season note that you may need:
- a planning permit to remove vegetation. Contact us on 1300 787 624 if you are concerned about overlays that may affect whether you can do the specified works.
- a permit to burn off outside the fire danger period. Burning off is not permitted at any time during the fire danger period.
How to prepare your property
- Slash all grass and weeds on your block so they are less than 10 centimetres high. Make sure you maintain this length during the fire danger period.
- Clear fallen branches and dead vegetation from around your property.
- Clean up fine fuels such as leaves, twigs and long grass and remove any rubbish.
- Larger rural and agricultural properties need to create a firebreak at least 10 metres wide along external fences by slashing grass and weeds to less than 10 centimetres.
For advice on making a fire plan and preparing your property, visit the CFA’s Plan and Prepare website
Evacuation and Neighbourhood Safer Places
- As emergencies, particularly bushfires, are highly unpredictable, for community safety we do not have pre-planned evacuation areas. These are developed on a case-by-case basis to ensure we are establishing relief centres in the safest location for the emergency.
- There are 3 Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP) in Cardinia Shire. These are identified buildings or spaces that offer a place of last resort during a bushfire for the local community. These should not form part of your primary bushfire survival plan.
Fire Hazard Inspection Program
Our Fire Prevention Officers inspect properties in the lead up to summer and during the CFA declared Fire Danger Period to check if there are fire hazards that need to be addressed on private land.
If we inspect a property and find fire hazards, a Fire Prevention Notice is issued to the property owner. The notice outlines the works that must be done to fix the issue.
The notice is issued in accordance with the Country Fire Authority Act 1958.
Properties most likely to be inspected
Properties most likely to be inspected include:
- those in high fire risk areas
- vacant properties
- properties that have previously been issued with a Fire Prevention Notice.
Follow the instructions in your Fire Prevention Notice
If you receive a fire prevention notice, read it carefully. Make sure the works take place by the date stated in the notice.
After this date, the land will be re-inspected to see if the fire hazards identified in the notice have been fixed.
If you do not comply with the notice, you may be fined up to $1,652, and/or you may need to cover the cost of us hiring a contractor to remove fire hazards, plus administration costs. Legal action may still proceed.
Council's role in preparing for the bushfire season
In relation to fire hazard reduction, we:
- do fuel-reduction activities in Council-managed properties and reserves
- conduct a comprehensive roadside slashing program throughout the year, with increased programming during spring and summer
- conduct and support community awareness sessions and community-led emergency planning sessions (including pop up events)
- deliver our fire hazard inspection program, in which we inspect private properties to ensure they are properly prepared for the fire season.
If you get a fire prevention notice and you are not sure what to do, contact us on 1300 787 624