Fire Hazard Inspections

Council has obligations under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 to take all practicable steps to prevent the occurrence of fires and minimise the danger from the spread of fires in Baw Baw Shire.

It is also Council’s responsibility to manage the risk of fire to the community (including on private land), which is done by conducting a Fire Hazard Inspection Program each season throughout the Fire Danger Period.

The Program uses a strategy that identifies the most at risk land to Baw Baw Shire’s communities based off information on the Victorian Fire Risk Register (VFRR).

For more information on the VFRR, please visit the VFRR website.

What we do

Council sends out courtesy information letters to the owners of vacant land and owners of properties within pre-determined areas that have been identified on the Victorian Fire Risk Register (VFRR) where the impact of fire to the community is greater.

In the example (Figure 1), the purple shading indicates the properties that are identified in the VFRR. To create an increased awareness of the program, properties highlighted in the green and tan shading are also issued the same letter. 

Illustrative map using Yarragon township as an example. Outer zones highlighted in green and brown to indicate buffer regions subject to inspection. Inner zones are highlighted purple to indicate homes which may be subject to radiant heat from bushfires.

Firgure 1: Township/Built-up fuel buffer area with targeted properties (Yarragon example)

The purpose of these letters is to provide information and education to support land owners in maintaining their property and reducing the likelihood of fire spreading to adjoining properties by creating a reduced fuel buffer.

Fuel is referred to as the material required to maintain a fire burning. This can include grass, plants, leaf litter, sticks, twigs and other debris. If allowed to build up, this can increase the available material to burn during a fire. 

What you can do

To better prepare your property against fire, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the fuels;

  • Maintain at least 30 metres of defendable space around your dwelling.
  • Keep lawn areas around your dwelling well maintained to no more than 100mm in length.
  • Maintain gardens so not an increased fire risk.
  • Removing undergrowth, fallen branches and tree cuttings. 

For more information about how you can maintain your property visit the CFA website

If you live outside of Baw Baw Shire, please visit your property to ensure it is maintained. If you are unable to visit your property, consider other options which may include your family, friends, a neighbour or a local contractor for assistance to complete the work on your behalf.  If you engage a contractor, ensure that the work is completed to your satisfaction – requesting before and after photos is good practice.

All works should be maintained throughout the declared Fire Danger Period. However, it should be everyone’s responsibility to maintain their property throughout the year.

Fire Hazard Inspections start in November 2018

If your property is not prepared or maintained for the fire season, your property may be subject to inspection and, subsequent you may be issued a Fire Prevention Notice in accordance with the Country Fire Authority Act 1958. All individual owners of your property will be issued a Fire Prevention Notice.

A Fire Prevention Notice will specify fuel reduction works that you are required to undertake and the timeframe in which the works must be completed. If you do not follow the directions, each individual owner will be issued a Fire Prevention Infringement Notice. Council may also arrange for the fuel reduction works to be completed at your cost.

For more information, please contact the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer during office hours on 5624 2411.