Fire Prevention Q & As
Council's Role in Fire Prevention
Municipal Fire Prevention is a statutory responsibility of all Municipalities falling within the Country Area of Victoria. Section 42 of the CFA Act states 'it is the duty of every municipal council and public authority to take all practical steps (including burning) to prevent the occurrence of fires on, and minimise the danger of the spread of fires on and from:
- any land vested in it or under its control or management;
- and any road under its care and management'
The works Council undertakes to meet its responsibilities include:
- Roadside slashing and fire break grading
- Vegetation management in Council owned (or managed) public reserves.
Section 55A of the CFA Act requires municipalities to prepare and maintain a Municipal Fire Management Plan (MFMP). The Corangamite Shire Municipal Fire Management Plan fulfils this requirement, and focuses on all fire risks, including structural/urban and hazardous material risk fires, as well as bushfires.
Other activities Council performs to prevent the likelihood and consequence of fire in Corangamite Shire are:
- Fire Hydrant Maintenance - through a service level agreement with Wannon Water
- Static Water Tank installation and maintenance
- Fire Access Road installation and maintenance
- Free Green Waste disposal during Fire Action Week
- Response to customer queries relating to fire hazards
- Issuance of permits during the fire danger period
- Media Campaigns - press releases, advertisements, direct mail outs, dissemination of CFA info at Customer Service Centres, libraries, etc.
Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee
The Municipal Fire Management Plan has been developed by Corangamite Shire Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee. This committee consists of CFA, DEWLP, Parks Victoria, Victoria Police, Corangamite Shire and the Integrated Fire Management Planning Team.
The MFMP details how Council, CFA and other relevant organisations and authorities can work together to effectively prevent, prepare, respond to and recover from major bushfire events.
The initial version of the MFMP concentrated on bushfires, however the new version currently in development, will also focus on structural/urban and hazardous material fire risks.
Fire Hazard Removal
It is the obligation of private landholders and statutory bodies to remove fire hazards and provide fire breaks where necessary to protect life and property.
Direction notices requiring landowners to remove fire hazards are more commonly directed at urban landowners. The majority of directions are issued against land in or adjacent to townships.
The normal pattern in respect to issuing of directions in urban areas is:
Depending on seasonal conditions, commencing between early October and early November, an inspection by the Fire Prevention Officer of the townships and surrounds, including an inspection and appraisal of the respective small town protection measures in force;
Fire prevention press releases sent to local papers;
Final inspections carried out and Notices issued as necessary. Directions to expire prior to the commencement of the Fire Danger Period;
Infringement Notices issued where applicable for non-compliance Notices;
Contractors sent in to clear non-compliance blocks and established required breaks.
Click here to download Fire Prevention Notice FAQ
Burning Off Outside the Declared Fire Danger Period
Outside the Declared Fire Danger Period burning may be carried out. However, a number of factors must be considered:
- The Summary Offences Act makes it an offence to leave a fire unattended.
- A person who lights a fire is legally responsible for the fire and liable for any damage it may cause.
- Council has Local Laws to control burning in urban areas and for the burning of large heaps and windrows.
- In an urban area the size of the fire and the matter being burnt must be no more than one cubic metre.