WELLINGTON Shire residents are being encouraged to clean up now, and take advantage of a ‘no fee’ green waste weekend early next month.
With Fire Action Week this week and many areas tinder dry because of continuing drought conditions, Wellington Shire Council is urging all residents to prepare for the fire season.
Wellington Shire Council mayor Carolyn Crossley said now was the time to speak with family, friends and neighbours about local bushfire risks and what they planned to do in a bushfire emergency.
“It’s important to discuss how you will react when there is a bushfire nearby,” Cr Crossley said.
“Write a home bushfire plan listing what you will do on those hot, dry, windy days where fires may start or spread quickly.
“All family members should understand the plan and stick to it.”
The best way to reduce the risk of a bushfire reaching a house is by cutting grass and clearing undergrowth.
Embers often cause homes to burn, even if the fire front doesn’t reach the property.
Clearing places where leaves and twigs gather around homes is also good practice.
Council will hold the ‘no fee’ green waste weekend from Saturday, November 3 to Monday, November 5 (Melbourne Cup weekend).
During these dates no fees will be charged for the delivery of green waste to Wellington’s landfills in Yarram, Kilmany, Maffra, Loch Sport, Seaspray, Heyfield and Stratford.
Cr Crossley said no-fee green waste weekend was a perfect time to dispose of cut grass, tree limbs, undergrowth and other plant material cleared for bushfire safety.
“This is the second no-fee green waste weekend council has held, since the Fire Danger Period was declared earlier this year than others,” Cr Crossley said.
“The Melbourne Cup long weekend is the perfect time to clean up and dispose of your green waste.”
Following the green waste weekend, council officers will begin inspections of properties across the shire to identify fire risks.
If a property is identified to pose a potential fire risk to life or property, the owner will be issued with a Fire Prevention Notice with instructions to clean up.
Serious penalties of up to $1600 can apply for failure to comply.
For information about preparing properties for fire and the fire prevention process, or regarding the green waste weekend, visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/fire or www.wellington.vic.gov.au/greenwaste.