WITH fire danger period upon us, Colac Otway Shire Council is urging landowners to act quickly and clean up their properties to prepare for summer.
Tristan Crews, the council’s Fire Awareness Officer, said the fire danger period was official as of Monday November 19.
“Once the Fire Danger Period begins, anyone wanting to burn off on their property needs a permit from council or CFA,” Mr Crews said.
“Council will start its annual fire prevention inspection program this week to assess potential fire hazards on properties within the shire.
“Some properties have already been inspected and issued Fire Prevention Notices where there is potential threat or where compliance has been an issue in the past.”
Mr Crews is encouraging property owners to contact council if they are unsure about the latest rules and regulations that are in place to maintain fire safety in the area.
“The fire inspection program will continue through to the end of the declared fire danger period in May next year,” he said.
“Property clean-up is primarily about reducing hazards and the risks of potential loss of life and property.
“Reducing fuels such as grass, twigs, leaves and bark on properties ensures that if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold on either your property or that of your neighbours.
“Being fire ready is everyone’s responsibility.”
Properties that aren’t fire ready will receive a fire prevention notice issued by council.
The notice details how to manage and control risks on the property, however, failure to comply can result in fines of up to $1,612.
“Failure to act on a notice can result in an infringement, which is set by the state government, plus clean-up fees and costs,” he said.
“We’d much rather work with landowners than issue fines, so if anyone needs advice about cleaning up their property, we encourage them to contact council’s compliance unit on 5232 9400.”
More information on being fire ready is available at colacotway.vic.gov.au/My-property/Fire-andemergencies.