Fire access tracks
About fire access tracks
- Council maintains 33 fire access tracks across the shire, as part of an integrated and coordinated fire management plan.
- Fire access tracks allow emergency response vehicles to get into areas that can’t be accessed by existing public roads, and allow rapid action to be taken to suppress fires.
- Fire access tracks are neither appropriate nor suitable for access by public vehicles and should not be part of your bushfire plan.
- The Cardinia Fire Access Track Upgrade Project took place from March to September 2020 and was funded by the Victorian Government’s Safer Together Program.
Use of fire access tracks
Fire access tracks are not maintained to the standards of public roads. Uncontrolled use by members of the public may result in damage to the tracks and an unsafe environment for the public and emergency responders.
- Gates: To ensure public safety and to ensure the tracks are ready for emergency use, gates are installed at the entrances to our fire access tracks. These gates are locked with padlocks which can be opened by CFA brigades and first responders when needed.
- Public access: Pedestrian and equestrian access to fire access tracks is permitted, however on days of high fire danger you should reconsider whether to use tracks for these purposes. Using a fire access track during a bushfire may be extremely dangerous and put the safety of the public and firefighters at risk.
- Fire safety: The use of fire access tracks should not form part of a bushfire safety plan. Members of the public should not use a fire access track as an escape route as this use could prevent access for firefighting vehicles in an emergency. If you live in an area at risk of bushfires you should prepare a bushfire plan. More info: CFA Plan and Prepare website
What the upgrade project involved
Council engaged local contractors to upgrade fire access tracks so they would meet the newly adopted metropolitan fire access track standards.
Some of the improvements made to fire access tracks
- Track surfaces were improved - including fixing ruts, loose material and obstacles
- Tracks were widened
- Vegetation was cleared
- Signs were upgraded and standardised
- Gates and locks were installed or upgraded
Improved tracks for emergency responders and improved community safety
- Prior to the project, only 4 of the 33 tracks met the updated standard for fire access tracks.
- Following the project, all tracks met the standard and were assessed as suitable for large tankers. All tracks are now fit for purpose in case of an emergency.
- The tracks will be maintained regularly and assessed once every year to ensure they meet the new standard.
Improved resources for emergency responders
Following the project, Council has produced a printed resource guide for emergency responders to use.
It features information about all tracks and about Council-maintained firefighting water tanks, and photos of access points.
We hope this helps the CFA and other emergency response organisations with their fire suppression planning processes.