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.

COVID-19 Update - if you live in metropolitan Melbourne and have property in Murrindindi Shire that you need to prepare for fires, floods or storms, click here to apply for a letter of support to visit your 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 VicPlan, the state-wide mapping service.

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 75 mm 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 $1600.

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. 

Council has simplified its burning-off laws to make it easier for residents to maintain their properties in preparation for the summer fire season. Residents may now burn off at any time (excluding the Fire Danger Period) without requiring a permit, providing they meet the following conditions:

  • you must have adequate means available at all times to prevent the escape of fire and to extinguish the fire
  • the burn area must be cleared of flammable material for a minimum radius of 3 m
  • the fire must be extinguished if you are directed to do so by an authorised officer
  • you must ensure all ashes are spread and thoroughly extinguished at the completion of the burn
  • the smoke must not cause a nuisance
  • the burn pile must not include damp or green materials. The materials to be burned must be suitably dry (cured)
  • the fire must be adequately supervised, with an adult person present at all times

Additionally, if your land is less than one hectare, the burn pile must not exceed 1 m  x 1 m.

If your land is more than one hectare:

  • the burn pile must be no more than 20 cubic meters
  • the fire must not be lit if wind speed exceeds 15 kph
  • the burn pile must not be located closer than 5 m to the property boundary or 5 m to any building

Any fire that does not meet these conditions will require a permit from Council. Please ensure you register all burns with the CFA by contacting 1800 668 511 before lighting your fire. 

The CFA decision regarding the FDP impacts on when you can or can’t burn off. Click here for more information on the FDP and to view the latest restrictions in force. 

For any enquiries relating to fire prevention, please call Council 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.