Bushfire Prevention and Planning

Fire Restrictions

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.

Burning Off

Residents and rate payers are allowed to burn off at specified times of the year and under certain conditions. The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has responsibility for deciding when the declared Fire Danger Period (FDP) starts and finishes. During the FDP it is unlikely any burning off can occur. Council do not issue permits to burn off during the FDP. 

The CFA decision regarding the fire danger period impacts on when you can or can’t burn off.

The CFA announced that the declared fire danger period for the current season ended on Monday 16 March 2020. As a result, the following rules apply until the commencement of the Fire Danger period (likely to be early November).

Burning of vegetation piles on land less than one hectare 

  • Any burn piles bigger than 1 metre x 1 metre on land less than one hectare require a permit. The maximum burn permit size is 5 metres x 5 metres. Dependant on the size of the burn, inspections may be required. 

  • Burning of vegetation piles on land less than one hectare must:

    (a) Not be more than 1 metre wide or high without a permit. Material may be continuously fed into fires of this size but must not be greater than 1 metre wide or high

    (b) Be cleared of flammable material for a minimum radius of 3 metres

    (c) Have adequate means available at all times for preventing the escape of and for extinguishing the fire.

    (d) Have an adult person with the fire at all times whilst it is alight.

    (e) Be registered with the burn off line on 1800 668 511 before being lit. 

    (f) Not include damp or green materials.  Materials to be burned must be suitably dry or cured

    (g) Be extinguished if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

    (h) Not be within the Country Fire Authority’s declared Fire Danger Period.

    (i) Have ashes and all residual material scattered and thoroughly extinguished at the completion of the burn

Burning of vegetation piles on land greater than one hectare 

A person may light a fire to burn vegetation piles on land greater than one hectare without a permit - if they comply with the following conditions.

Burning of vegetation piles on land greater that one hectare must:  

(a) Be lit only when wind speed is below 15kph.

(b) Not be located closer than 5 metres to the property boundary or 5 metres to any building.

(c) Be cleared of flammable material for a minimum radius of 3 metres.

(d) Have adequate means available at all times for preventing the escape of and for extinguishing the fire 

(e) Be adequately supervised

(f) Be registered with the burn off line on 1800 668 511 before being lit. 

(g) Not be greater than 20 cubic meters in size. Piles over this size always require a permit regardless of time of year

(h) Not include damp or green materials.  Materials to be burned must be suitably dry or cured

(i) Be extinguished if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

(j) Not be within the Country Fire Authority’s declared Fire Danger Period.

(k) Have ashes and all residual material scattered and thoroughly extinguished at the completion of the burn

A permit is required for fire piles greater than 20 cubic meters on land size greater than one hectare and will require an inspection of the pile before a permit is granted. 

To obtain a permit you can begin the process by contacting the Council on (03) 5772 0333. 

All other enquiries relating to fire prevention can be directed to the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on (03) 5772 0333.
 

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.