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Clear vegetation from around your home
CFA has launched a new online tool to make it easier for people to check whether they can clear vegetation – including trees and branches – from around their homes without a permit.
Planning exemptions – known as the ‘10/30’ and ‘10/50’ rules – were introduced in 2011 to reduce red tape for residents wanting to clear up ahead of the bushfire season.
CFA is concerned that these rules are not widely known or understood, and that many residents may be putting off essential property preparation work because of the effort required to apply for a permit.
This message is supported by a two-minute video 'Clear up or clear out' which was released on CFA’s Facebook page today. The lighthearted video also urges residents to ‘check before you clear’ by going to cfa.vic.gov.au/clearing or calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (1800 240 667).
CFA wants everyone to be aware that in most areas outside of Melbourne a permit isn't needed to remove trees within 10m of their home and understory vegetation for up to 30m from their home.
There are some important exceptions, primarily for newer homes. If your home was built or approved after 10 September 2009 a permit is still needed to clear any vegetation.
Given that tough penalties can apply, it is still necessary to check with your local shire or about any local laws in place. Watch the video here:
Clearing vegetation around your home is important to give it the best possible chance of surviving a bushfire – whether or not you plan to be there. If a fire impacts suddenly you may not have the chance to leave.
This is because fuel increases the intensity of a fire, which in turn creates dangerous levels of radiant heat. Fire also uses trees and other vegetation to ‘climb’ into windows and roofs – but these ladder fuel can be ‘broken’ by pruning branches, stripping back loose or flaky bark or removing/relocating smaller trees.
For more information on the 10/30 and 10/50 rules, and to check which rules apply to your area, visit cfa.vic.gov.au/clearing
For information about getting ready for the fire season, including both property preparation and essential decisions to make as part of your bushfire survival plan, visit the ‘Plan and Prepare' section of the CFA website.