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Clean up before fire restrictions
With fire restrictions likely to be introduced early in the new-year, CFA is urging residents in the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and Ranges, and Warrandyte to use the next few weeks to clean-up around their property.
Clearing vegetation around homes will give residents the best chance of getting through a fire – whether they are there or not when a fire threatens.
Acting District 13 Operations Manager Gavin Wright said the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and Ranges and Warrandyte were among the most fire prone places in the world.
He said the Fire Danger Period, when fires in the open air are prohibited, was likely to be introduced in early 2013, leaving just a few weeks in which when burning off was permitted.
“It’s not too late to clear at least a 10 metre space around your property, clean gutters and slash and burn grass.
“Once fire restrictions are introduced, authorities will be cracking down on illegal burn offs and enforcing hefty penalties,” Mr Wright said.
“On top of that, I can’t emphasise enough that preparing your property – no matter how well you do it – is never a substitute for a well-though-out plan of action for those days of high fire risk.
“When the Fire Danger Rating is Extreme or Code Red, the only way to guarantee your safety is to leave the night before or early that morning if you’re in a high bushfire risk area.”
Mr Wright said low rainfall over the past two months had seen rapid drying of grasslands and forest, and as a result, CFA is expecting the busiest fire season in a few years.
Tips for preparing your property:
- Keep your grass short. The grass around your home (particularly within a 10 metre radius) should be less than 10cm
- Prevent fuel from building up – regularly clear dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark
- Replace flammable types of mulch (e.g. wood chips or dry straw) with pebbles or rocks
- Remove flammable cardboard boxes, furniture, toys or firewood from verandahs or decks
- Relocate large shrubs of plants that are growing under your windows
- Keep large woodpiles well away from the house.