How residents can prepare for fire

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Download the VicEmergency app

The VicEmergency app is the official Victorian Government app for access to community information and warnings for all types of emergencies in Victoria. It is managed by Emergency Management Victoria and supported by the Department of Justice.

The VicEmergency app aligns with the VicEmergency website to provide a centralised location for Victorians to access timely emergency information and warnings.

The app includes warnings and incident notifications for fire, flood, storm, earthquake, tsunami, weather warnings, shark sightings, beach closures and more.

In order to receive location specific app alerts when warnings are issued or incidents occur, you need to set up your watch zones.

You can download VicEmergency app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

VicEmergency website is a combined source of emergency information and warnings.

VicEmergency Hotline

The VicEmergency Hotline provides information during and after major incidents in Victoria. It also offers information to help households, landowners and small businesses plan for and recover from emergencies.

The hotline replaced the old Victoria Bushfire Information Line (VBIL), SES Information Line, Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line, and others from DEDJTR and DELWP.

The Hotline can be accessed by calling: 1800 226 226

Preparing a Fire Plan

Did you know that Victoria is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world? It is important for all Victorians to understand the risk of fire and how we can best prepare for the fire season.

Not everyone thinks clearly in an emergency. Taking steps to get prepared before the fire season means you know what to do when you're at risk of fire. A written and preferably well-practised fire plan will help you remember what needs to be done during a crisis. 

Visit the CFA website: Your Bushfire Plan to access information and resources available on its website to help you better plan for fire in and around your home, including fire plan templates.

You can down download the CFA Fire Ready Kit, which is designed to help you with the basics of preparing before the fire season, through to planning what to do if fire is in your area and you cannot leave.

The Victorian Government's Online Fire Planner can also help you create a basic fire plan in as little as 10 minutes:

Get started with Vic Gov's Online Fire Planner

For general advice on preparing for any emergency:

Visit The First 72 Hours page

Preparing 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. These steps include:

  • keeping grass and undergrowth trimmed to below 10 cm (residential property owners)
  • rake up and reduce leaf litter and overgrown shrubs
  • remove branches overhanging buildings and leaf litter from roofs and gutters
  • store fuels and chemicals away from your house
  • move wood piles away from the house
  • ensure underfloor areas are enclosed or screened
  • prevent embers from entering your house by sealing gaps, vents and roof spaces

For rural landowners, you must:

  • ensure grass is cut on the whole property and kept short throughout the fire season, or
  • slash or mow grass a minimum 10 metre fire break around perimeter of your property boundary

Property owners should have their initial fire prevention activities completed by mid-November. While we recognise that the rate of vegetation growth varies with the different weather and rainfall patterns across our Shire, as a guide, we suggest the following schedule to help you plan your fire prevention work at your property.

Late October/early November - inspect your property. Spring weather provides ideal growing conditions for grass, which needs to be mowed. In residential areas, remove all grass, stubble, weeds and leaf litter to ensure a height of less that 10 cm. In rural areas, consider grazing stock in areas closer to your house and mow or slash a 10 metre firebreak around the perimeter of your property.

November - re-inspect your property for growth and other fire hazards. Re-cut grass or increase grazing as required.

December - March - frequently inspect and maintain your property during these high-risk months. Don't forget to exercise caution when using machinery (mowers etc.) on hot and dry days.

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 (03) 5772 0333.

When local conditions begin to dry out, Council's Municipal Fire Prevention Officers inspect properties across Murrindindi Shire for fire hazards. A Fire Prevention Notice is issued if a fire hazard is identified on your property. For more information about Fire Prevention Notices, visit the 'How Council prepares for fire' page.

For more information on preparing your property before and during the fire season, visit the CFA: Preparing Your Property website.

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.