The Fire Danger Period is fast approaching, so Wellington Shire Council is reminding landowners that now is a critical time to prepare their properties for the months ahead.
Inspections of private properties to ensure compliance with bushfire hazard reduction rules ahead of the 2020/21 Fire Danger Period begin Wednesday 4 November and run till May.
Landowners must reduce hazardous ground fuels by slashing grass, weeds and bracken, as well as removing undergrowth, fallen branches and tree cuttings.
While pruning trees is good practice, removing whole trees without a permit is not allowed. It is also good practice to include tasks such as clearing leaf litter from gutters and sealing gaps in exterior walls.
To assist with the clearing of properties, Council is offering no-fee green waste disposal (excluding commercial operators) at all landfills and transfer stations, during normal operating hours, throughout November.
While many landowners would normally visit their blocks to conduct works, this may not be possible this year. Landowners who are unable to visit their property will be expected to engage local friends or family, or contractors to do the work.
For details of contractors, search online or the Yellow Pages, or contact a garden centre in the shire or estate agent.
Landowners must maintain their properties throughout the Fire Danger Period.
In response to the difficulties created by the pandemic, Council will continue with a 28-day hazard-reduction compliance period, first introduced two years ago.
Landowners are encouraged to ask their contractor to provide them with photographic evidence that work has been completed to their satisfaction and the correct block cleared.
Where a property is identified as posing a fire risk, Council will serve each owner with a Fire Prevention Notice via posted mail. So, it is important that any change of address details are registered before November. Penalties of $1,652 per owner apply for failure to comply.
For more information, visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/fire or call Victorian Bushfire Information on 1800 240 667.