Monthly Archives: October 2015

Clearing around your home

Now is the time to prepare your house. How far around your house can you clear BEFORE you need to get council permission?

The short answer is: it depends. Where is your house? When was it constructed? Does it replace a house previously destroyed by bush fire? All these facts determine exactly what you can and can’t do.

CFA has launched a new online tool to make it easier for people to check whether they can clear vegetation, including trees and branches, from around their homes without a permit. Planning exemptions – known as the ‘10/30’ and ‘10/50’ rules – were introduced in 2011 to reduce red tape for residents wanting to clear up ahead of the bushfire season.

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said in many communities these rules were not widely known or understood.

“We are concerned that some residents may be putting off essential property preparation work because they think a permit is needed, and it all goes into the too hard basket,” he said. “For people living in most areas of regional Victoria and in high bushfire risk areas especially, that is not usually the case.”

Gisborne CFA wants everyone to be aware that in most parts of the Macedon Ranges Shire, a permit isn’t needed to remove trees within 10m of their home and understorey vegetation for up to 30m from their home, but there are exemptions and you need to check before getting the chainsaw out.

A new two-minute video ‘Clear up or clear out’ was released on CFA’s Facebook and YouTube pages this week to raise awareness of the rules around vegetation clearing.

The video is lighthearted on tone but features a serious message, urging residents to ‘check before you clear’ by going to cfa.vic.gov.au/clearing, and talking to the local council.

 

Prepare and maintain your property

With the first major fire indicating that the fire season has well and truly started , preparing your property now is your best defense. 99475b7c6a11c7a0729ba5c65e699691_resize_d1a211824

Preparing yourself, your family and your property is your responsibility. Serious bushfires can occur in rural and suburban communities, with areas such as Gisborne, nestled between forest, suburbia and large grass areas at particular risk.

During a major bushfire, firefighters will be working to stop the fire. A fire truck and water bombing by aircraft cannot be guaranteed to defend your home during a bushfire. The more you prepare your property the better the chance it will survive a bushfire, even if you are not there. The majority of houses can survive most bushfires with planning and effort. A well prepared home will give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave.

c4483ecee986f4ca6cf0f78839c21bcc_resized_dsa217721If you have a  fire plan, practice it now, try it out in different circumstances (does the plan work at night and with the power off) and review your plan.

If you don’t have a fire plan, why not?

Total Fire Ban in place for Tuesday 6/10/15

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Tomorrow, Tue, 6 Oct 2015 has been declared a day of Total Fire Ban in the Mallee, Wimmera, South West, Northern Country, North Central and Central (includes Melbourne and Geelong) district(s) of Victoria.

No fires can be lit or be allowed to remain alight in the open air from 12:01 AM on Tue, 6 Oct 2015 until 11:59 PM Tue, 6 Oct 2015 in any part of the Macedon Ranges Shire

For further information, please visit http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings/ or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.

Extreme fire weather predicted

In an early start to the fire season, Tuesday is predicted to be hot and dry, with an extreme fire danger predicted in the north central region. Gisborne is in the Central region, with a severe rating. Predictions and explanations of the ratings can be found at http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings/.

Captain Sam of Gisborne CFA says “Never leave a burn-off unattended and check the weather forecast. You should never burn-off in hot, dry, or windy conditions. People need to do the right thing by checking conditions and registering their burn-offs with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority by calling 1800 668 511”. If a total fire ban is put in place, no burning off in the open air will be permitted.

If you see smoke and are concerned, please call the Bush-fire Information Line on 1800 240 667. If you can see flames and wish to report a fire, please call 000 immediately.