Wellington Shire Council is reminding landowners that they must maintain their properties in a fire-safe condition throughout the entire current Fire Danger Period.
The region is experiencing fast re-growth of vegetation due to high rainfall, meaning property owners might need to slash several more times during the Fire Danger Period to ensure blocks are maintained.
Council has issued more than 1000 Fire Prevention Notices to property owners during the 2021/22 fire season, an unusually high number. Follow-up inspections on these properties resulted in 49 fines for non-compliance.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said these figures were disappointing.
"Unfortunately many property owners, rather than being proactive and clearing their properties before the fire season inspections, waited until they received Fire Prevention Notices," Cr Bye said.
"Council officers then spent many hours in a short period following up these Fire Prevention Notices to ensure the required clearing was done.
"The most common reason given for not clearing blocks before fire inspections was Covid restrictions, however non-residential property owners were able to apply for exemptions to travel for fire preparation from October, and Council offered no-fee green waste disposal for the entire month of November.
"Council staff will be continuing fire inspections to make sure blocks are being maintained in a safe condition and will issue further notices if needed, particularly if we continue to get high re-growth of grass."
Council is also reminding people that they cannot burn off during the Fire Danger Period without a permit from Country Fire Authority (CFA).
Burning off should be considered a last resort for people clearing their blocks.