After a dry winter, Wellington Shire Council is urging residents to start preparing their properties for the coming fire season.
Severe frosts and record low rainfall have increased dead dry fuel across the municipality, which will be a fire hazard this summer.
Wellington Shire Mayor Carolyn Crossley said the Country Fire Authority had indicated the Fire Danger Period may be declared much earlier than previous years.
“It is vitally important for residents in all areas of the shire, whether they live in a residential or rural area, to ensure their properties are fire ready by reducing ground fuels around their homes,” Cr Crossley said.
“Take care and be vigilant when preparing your properties, ensuring any sparks from ride on mowers or slashers hitting rocks do not ignite the grass.”
“Landowners are required to ensure ground fuels remain low by slashing grass, weeds and bracken, as well as removing undergrowth, fallen branches and tree cuttings.
“Tree branches should be pruned back from any nearby houses and low branches pruned away from ground fuels.”
To ensure our residents’ safety, Council fire prevention officers will be conducting property inspections across the shire from 8 November, focusing especially in areas with absent property owners in coastal towns.
“Although preparing your home does not form part of a property inspection, Council does advise you to clear gutters of leaves and twigs, move woodpiles and other flammable items well away from the house and repair damaged roof tiles or gaps in external walls,” Cr Crossley said.
“We also remind landowners with rural holdings or large paddocks adjoining residential properties to slash fuel breaks along boundary fence lines.
“Those in residential areas are reminded that ground fuels are to be maintained around their own homes as well as adjacent to any neighbouring homes and fence lines.”
Please speak to Council’s environmental planner if you want to remove any trees to ensure you do not need a permit.
After residents clean up their properties, they are required to dispose of their green waste responsibly.
This can be done at Council’s waste facilities at a low cost throughout the year or free on our annual Green Waste Weekend.
Council is holding its annual Green Waste Weekend on Saturday 4 November, Sunday 5 November and Monday 6 November 2017 between 9am and 5pm at our waste facilities in Kilmany, Maffra, Rosedale, Loch Sport, Seaspray, Heyfield, Stratford, and Yarram.