WELLINGTON Shire council officers will begin inspecting

WELLINGTON Shire council officers will begin inspecting properties early next month to make sure they are fire safe.

Mayor Scott Rossetti said while it might feel like there was plenty of time before fire season, it was important to be prepared early.

He said last season’s devastating Aberfeldy-Donnelly fires were still fresh in people’s minds and the recovery effort continued.

“Taking the necessary steps to ensure your property is in a fire-safe condition is important for the whole community,” he said.

“We will begin inspecting properties in early November to ensure that residents have complied with their obligations under the CFA Act and we will issue notices to those who have failed to do so.

“Whether your block is small or large, residential or commercial; please be a good neighbour, prepare now.”

Cr Rossetti outlined the following guidelines for residents:

For properties in residential areas and rural living zones (on properties less than one hectare):

Ensure ground fuel such as grasses, stubble bracken or weeds are no more than 100mm high across the whole of your land;

Remove all debris, fallen branches and tree cuttings from your property;

All tree branches and foliage less than six millimetres in diameter and up to a height of two metres should be trimmed or removed, and

Remove all shrubs and tree limbs that overhang into your neighbour’s property.

For rural and farm zones (properties larger than one hectare):

Ensure there is a slashed fire break inside all the boundary fence lines of no less than five metres, and

For more heavily vegetated areas, inside all boundary fence lines, make sure that there is a clearing that is at least five metres wide with no source of fuel for fires.

Within these cleared areas, ensure all ground fuels (such a grasses) are no more than 100mm high, all debris such as fallen branches have been removed and tree branches less than 6mm in diameter are removed to a height of two metres on the tree.

Cr Rossetti said a permit may be needed to remove entire trees, and urged people to check with Wellington Shire Council if they were unsure.

To assist the community with preparation efforts Wellington Shire Council will hold a free green waste disposal weekend at its tips in Maffra and Rosedale, and transfer stations in Kilmany, Loch Sport, Sale, Seaspray, Heyfield, Stratford and Yarram.

Green Waste Weekend will be offered from November 2 to 4 between 9am and 5pm.

More information on preparing for fire season is available on the fire pages of council’s website, www.wellington.vic.gov.au

Queries can also be directed to Wellington Shire Council’s municipal fire prevention officer on 1300 366 244, contact local CFAs or visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au