Golden Plains Shire is prone to wildfire (either grass or forest fire) and it is every resident's responsibility to make sure they are prepared for fire well in advance of the Fire Danger Period.
The Fire Danger Period for Golden Plains Shire Council will commence on 24 December 2022 at 01.00a.m. (0100 hours)
Prepare, Act, Survive
Golden Plains Shire is prone to bushfire (either grass or forest fire) and it is every resident's responsibility to make sure they are prepared for fire well in advance of the Fire Danger Period. This includes cleaning up all fine fuels such as leaves, twigs and long grass close to the home and having a clear fire plan that is understood by everyone living in your home including visitors. Removal of standing trees for fire prevention is not permitted except within 10 metres of your place of accommodation. You should check with Council if you think trees around your home are a fire hazard.
You should know well in advance of a fire starting whether you are going to stay and actively defend a well prepared home or leave early on high fire danger days.
Residents are strongly encouraged to educate themselves about fire, fire management and how best to prepare for fire by organising or attending one of the CFA's Fire Ready Victoria sessions. Getting together with your neighbours and forming a CFA Community Fireguard group is another effective way of ensuring you are well prepared for the fire season. The CFA has loads of information and support for landholders who live in fire prone areas. Contact your Regional CFA Office or check out the CFA website for more information
Making your property fire ready
A well-prepared property is more likely to survive a fire. It is important to reduce fine fuels on private property, which are the primary driver of fire intensity and spread. To make your property fire ready, you should:
- Cut grass to a maximum height of 300 millimetres during the non-fire season, and then to a maximum height of 100 millimetres during the Fire Danger Period, or as directed under a Fire Prevention Notice;
- On properties more than two hectares, ensure grass is maintained to no higher than 100mm up to a minimum of 20 metres from the house or outbuilding;
- Remove any flammable material around the home, including cleaning out gutters;
- Clear dead undergrowth and fallen branches;
- Ensure any firewood is stored well away from the house or outbuildings;
- Trim excess vegetation along driveways; and
- Clearly number the property so that it can be easily found by Emergency Services.
The CFA also has the excellent Landscaping for Bushfire booklet which provides many ideas on how to best set up your property for fire protection.
Make sure you know where to check the Fire Danger Ratings on the CFA's website, emergency.vic.gov.au or on the Vic Emergency app on your phone or device. Over summer, you should check the ratings frequently to understand the fire risk in your area.
During an emergency, tune in to ABC local radio 774, visit emergency.vic.gov.au, download the Vic Emergency app on your phone or device, or call the Vic Emergency Hotline on 1800 226 226. Warnings are also available on Vic Emergency's and the CFA’s social media channels.
Many of the local fire brigades in Golden Plains Shire also run social media accounts. While you should rely on Vic Emergency and ABC channels for up-to-date emergency advice, following your local brigade on Facebook can be a useful source of fire education and community information:
- Teesdale CFA
- Bannockburn CFA
- Smythesdale Fire Brigade
- Lethbridge CFA
- Linton Fire Brigade – CFA
- Dereel CFA Brigade
- Haddon CFA Brigade and Auxiliary
Building in a Fire Prone Area
Much of Golden Plains Shire is classified as Fire Prone with certain areas in close proximity to bushland being classified as being in a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO). The BMO has been applied through the Planning Scheme in response to this. Constructing a home in an area subject to the BMO requires that you meet certain building criteria to ensure your home has the best chance of survival in a wildfire event. Additionally, new standards apply to all new dwellings that require a Building Permit. Your building plans will need to comply with these standards before you can get your Planning or Building Permit.
If you are applying for a Planning or Building Permit, check out the CFA website.