Bushfire Prevention and Planning
Council fire restrictions will begin on 15 October 2019. After this date, all burning off will require a Council permit.
The CFA will announce when the Fire Danger Period for the North Central Fire Ban District will come into force. It is expected to commence in October or November 2019. During the CFA Fire Danger Period, Council will not be issuing any burn off permits.
All enquiries relating to fire prevention matters can be directed to the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on (03) 5772 0333.
Fire Ban Districts
The Murrindindi Shire falls within the North Central Fire Ban District.
Total Fire Bans are declared by the CFA on days when fires are likely to spread rapidly and be difficult to control. Victoria is divided into nine fire ban districts.
For further information and to download a fire districts map and municipality list visit the CFA website.
Bushfire planning on your property
Every landowner has a responsibility to ensure they take necessary steps in reducing the risk of bushfire on their property and to reduce the risk of injury or damage to other persons or property.
The Murrindindi Planning Scheme provides for bushfire regulation in the municipality, along with a range of local and state legislation. Property owners should be aware of their requirements under the law. Visit the Vegetation Management page on the website for information and advice on creating defendable space on your property.
If you believe that trees or vegetation should be removed from Council owned land, please complete and submit a customer request form or contact Council on 5772 0333.
Bushfire Management Overlay
The Bushfire Management Overlay identifies areas where bushfire hazard warrants bushfire protection measures to be implemented. The purpose of the overlay is to ensure that development of land prioritises the protection of human life and strengthens community resilience to bushfire. To find out if your property is in a Bushfire Management Overlay visit www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/ and for further information visit our Zones and Overlays page.
Property Inspections and Fire Prevention Notices
Prior to the summer fire danger period, Municipal Fire Prevention Officers conduct inspections of properties throughout the Shire. Owners of properties, where Fire Prevention works are required, will be contacted by letter seeking their co-operation in ensuring that their property does not present a fire hazard to adjoining properties. Additional compliance processes are available to Council if required.
For the duration of the CFA Declared Fire Danger Period, grass must be managed in the following manner:
- Residential area - CUT AND REMOVE all grass and weeds to a height of 75mm or less above the natural surface of the ground using manual or mechanical equipment.
- Non-residential area: CUT A SIX METRE FIRE BREAK around the property boundaries by slashing or otherwise, to a height of 75mm or less above the natural surface of the ground.
Those not complying with the above conditions will be issued with a Fire Prevention Notice. Failure to comply with a Fire Prevention Notice will result in fines exceeding $1,600.
To report a property as a potential fire hazard, please do so by completing our customer request form.
During the CFA Declared Fire Danger Period, burning off in the open air, other than for cooking purposes or warmth/comfort is prohibited. During a day of Total Fire Ban no fires can be lit. A zero tolerance approach is taken to the deliberate or reckless lighting of fires during the Declared Fire Danger Period and serious fines apply for breaches of these regulations. The Declared Fire Danger Period is announced by the CFA and generally runs from October to April each year. Due to the wet weather in recent months, this period is expected to commence later than usual.
Council declares its own 'fire restriction period' in the lead up to the Fire Danger Period. Council's fire restriction period is now in place. This means that a Council permit will be required for any open air burning throughout the Shire. Upon receiving a permit, burning will be allowed up until the Fire Danger Period is declared by the CFA.
To obtain a permit you can begin the process by contacting the Local Laws Unit on 5772 0333.
All other inquiries relating to fire prevention can be directed to the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on (03) 5772 0331.
Community Information Guides
Community Information Guides (formerly Township Protection Plans) are a key source of information for the community and an important tool to emphasise the shared responsibility between the community, fire services and local government.
Guides have been developed for a number of communities in the Murrindindi Shire that are deemed to be at risk of bushfire or grassfire:
- Toolangi and Castella
- Eildon and Taylor Bay
- Kinglake West and Pheasant Creek
- Flowerdale and Hazeldene
These guides can be viewed on the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website.
Planning and preparing for fire
The CFA has various amounts of information, checklists, templates and flyers on their website to help you better plan for fire in and around your home. These can be viewed at the CFA website.
Emergency information for residents
Council in collaboration with the CFA has prepared the an emergency information flyer regarding fire safety. It is designed for people new to our shire that may not be aware of local fire conditions or information, or for anyone wanting a “one-stop-shop” for information regarding bushfire. The flyer is designed to be used either electronically (by clicking on the links contained within the document) or can be printed out in hard copy.
The flyer includes key emergency contacts, information on how to better prepare your household for bushfire and other key pieces of information regarding fire safety. The flyer is also useful for those building new homes in the shire as it clearly explains vegetation exemptions and bushfire attack levels that apply within Murrindindi Shire. Lastly the flyer also lists the location of ‘Neighbourhood Safer Places: Bushfire Places of Last Resort“ and which towns have specific fire plans (known as Community Information Guides).
Download Emergency Information Flyer(DOCX, 122KB)
Download Emergency Information Flyer(PDF, 147KB)
Bushfire planning by Council
Council is responsible for the preparation of a Municipal Fire Management Plan which identifies actions and responsibilities for various agencies including Council in the management of fire risk within the shire.
Council adopted the latest version of the Murrindindi Shire Council and Lake Mountain Alpine Resort Municipal Fire Plan at its meeting on 25 September 2015.
The preparation of the plan is overseen by the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee which has representatives of the key agencies responsible for fire management within the shire including the CFA and the Department of Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Whilst a large emphasis within the plan concerns the threat posed from bushfire, the plan also considers structural fires and hazardous material threats.
One of the actions identified for Council is the slashing of key roadsides and other areas to assist in mitigating the risks associated with bushfire. VicRoads also assists by undertaking similar slashing works on all of its highways throughout the shire.
Council’s Municipal Fire Prevention Officers also inspect residential properties across the Shire throughout the fire season and Fire Prevention Notices are issued to residents where fuel reduction works such as mowing and spraying are required.
DELWP are responsible for bushfire mitigation works on public land within the Shire.