Spring - the time to clean up your property for fire season
The ferocity of a fire depends on a number of factors, including the weather, ground slope and especially the amount of ‘fuel’ on and around your house or property.
Fuel is the only factor that you can alter before an unplanned fire starts. Fuel reduction is therefore one of the most important preventions you can undertake, with the most effective methods including mowing, raking, slashing and burning.
Clearing volatile fuels such as grass, undergrowth, fallen leaves, bark, dead branches and twigs will lower the intensity of a fire.
Reducing the risk of fire is what it’s all about:
- Cut the long grass within 30 metres of the house, and then keep it under control. If grass cannot be kept short by grazing animals, it should be slashed well before the fire danger period so that cut grass has time to rot prior to summer
- A well maintained garden will reduce the fire intensity around your house and make it safer for you to stay and defend your home. Remove over-hanging branches and clear leaves and twigs from roof gutters– something you should do regularly. And move wood piles and other flammable materials away from the house
- Be careful burning off – even a small fire
For small clearing fires, a permit is possibly not needed, however there are still strict guidelines you should be aware of:
- If a burn escapes due to carelessness and damages someone else’s property, you will be held responsible
- By law the size of pile of material being burned must not exceed 2 cubic metres at any time, and you are meant to have cleared a firebreak of at least 3 metres around a fire, to ensure that the fire can be restricted to a controllable size. The space above the fire should also be free of any flammable material and vegetation
- You should not burn too close to adjoining land. Do the courteous thing and notify neighbours prior to the fire being lit, so that they can bring in washing and close doors and windows. If they are surprised by sudden smoke they may also unnecessarily call the CFA
- Naturally, what you burn should be dry garden waste and not produce any toxic fumes. You will need to have adequate methods of controlling and extinguishing the fire in place. And you shouldn’t just set fire to a large pile and let it burn
Fire Ready Apps
Prepare. Act. Survive. How FireReady are you?
FireReady is the official Country Fire Authority (CFA) app for bushfire information in Victoria. Download to assess your own FireReady status and to remain aware of incidents around you in real-time.
This comprehensive application puts CFA and Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE) bushfire information at your fingertips, enabling access to up-to-date bushfire warnings and advice when you're out and about.
Available for both Android and Apple iOS
Spring - the time to prepare
Irrespective of whether you plan to stay or plan to go in the event of a fire, it is essential that your home is prepared as well as possible to withstand a bush or grass fire. Spring is the time to start preparing to reduce the risks of fire danger to you, your family, your neighbourns and your property.