Frankston City Council is using Fire Action Week to urge people with properties in the local government area to plan and prepare now for the fire season. As well as conducting fuel reduction measures such as clearing and burning off, preparations should include making plans for hot, dry, windy days and for fires.
Council CEO Phil Cantillon said sharing your plan is key to making sure everyone is on the same page before the hot weather kicks in. “Talk to your family members and neighbours about the risks in your area, as well as what you will do and where you will go in the event of a fire or high-risk day,” Mr Cantillon said.
The council is preparing public areas for the fire season in a COVID-safe way, and Mr Cantillon encouraged those with properties in the LGA to do the same. “October is the best time to prepare,” he said. “Don’t leave it too late to put fire safety measures in place.”
COVID-19 restrictions were eased at midnight yesterday to allow residents of metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to seek written permission from the council to travel to the Frankston City LGA to prepare their properties for bushfires. To receive a permit, property owners are required to complete an application form so officers can deem whether it is necessary for them to travel to Frankston City to undertake this work. Considerations will include whether the property is located in a high-risk area.
If fire season preparation is required, the council will issue a permit, accompanied by letters from the Chief Health Officer and Police Commissioner, allowing the applicant to travel beyond 25km from their primary place of residence and outlining the COVID-19 restrictions they must adhere to.
“We understand that residents of other council areas are wishing to prepare their Frankston City properties for the fire season, and we are working with the State Government to facilitate this in a COVID-safe way,” Mr Cantillon said, adding the council would also issue fire prevention notices to the owners of properties requiring urgent action. “Owners issued with a fire prevention notice are legally required to clean up their property regardless of whether they live more than 25km away.”
Fire Action Week runs until October 25, with fire brigades hosting online training to help residents understand and prepare for fire.