Fire ready

Know you risk and create a plan

In Corangamite Shire bushfire is our largest risk. Information on understanding fire risk in your environment can be found at the CFA website - Am I at risk?

Being prepared is a critical step in being ready. The CFA have many helpful publications to help you prepare, including the Fire Ready Kit. See links to the CFA website below.

Manage vegetation and fire fuels around houses and on vacant urban land

  • Keep grass on residential blocks (including vacant land) below 30cm all year round and below 10cm leading up to and during the Fire Danger Period (November through to May, depending on weather conditions).
  • Maintain a non-flammable area between your house and your garden, such as a path or short, green lawn. This area should be at least one metre wide.
  • Ensure no flammable vegetation or material (for example, mulch) is located under or near windows and glass doors.
  • Remove woody weed species first, then assess what other vegetation may need to be pruned or removed.
  • Don’t store firewood or other fuel near or under your house.
  • Keep your house, including gutters and immediate surroundings, free of leaf build-up.
  • Remove any tree branches overhanging your house.
  • Break up continuous lines of vegetation, such as hedges, so that fire is more manageable and not carried to your house or neighbour's house.
  • When creating or remodeling your garden, choose fire resistant plants and create non-connecting clusters of plants.

Managing vegetation on rural properties

Dry grass ignites easily and grass fires move very quickly, especially in windy conditions. Taller grass will have a higher flame height, and a fire in shorter mown or grazed grass will be less intense.

Works for managing vegetation on rural properties include:

  • Create a three-metre wide fire break on property boundaries or alongside wildlife corridors by keeping grass below 10 cm throughout the fire season. In some instances, a wider break is needed and may be directed by the Fire Prevention Officer after liaison with the property owner.
  • Where a rural property abuts a township/settlement, significant infrastructure or other identified important area, a larger fuel break will usually be required. Council’s Fire Prevention Officer can work with the land manager to determine requirements for establishing and maintaining a fire fuel break throughout the Fire Danger Period.
  • If you do not have access to town water, Council recommends you install CFA compliant fittings to your water tank(s). Easy access to water sources is critical to the fire brigade being able to defend your property. For information on CFA’s requirements for water supply fittings visit the CFA Tank Connections Explained page

Council’s inspection program

Council inspects properties throughout the Fire Danger Period. Council’s Fire Inspection Program commences early in November. Properties found to be non-compliant will be issued with a Fire Prevention Notice.

See Manage vegetation and fire fuels around houses and on vacant urban land to gain understanding of what our officers are looking for.

For further information download our Fire Prevention Notice FAQ(PDF, 1MB).

Property owners who do not comply with a Fire Prevention Notice, or who burn-off without a permit during the Fire Danger Period, face heavy penalties. These include state Government penalties, which have recently become much stricter. State Government fines now start from $1,555.

Council Fire Prevention Program

Council's fire planning is set at both the landscape level and the township level. At a landscape level Council undertake Fire Prevention on roadsides, this is focused on vegetation reduction around townships and the establishment of strategically positioned fire breaks. Council works in partnership with the CFA and local brigades to reduce vegetation strategically which aids the suppression of fires once started.  Specific roadsides are identified as areas of fire breaks which CFA crews use to hold the fire. These roads will receive treatments such as burning.  Other roadsides are identified for resident access and egress if leaving the area or caught off guard with fire nearby. These roads receive less intensive treatments such as slashing. Not all roadsides are part of the fire prevention program.

At a township level Council maintain Council owned vacant land and road reserves. Council also work in partnership to support and prepare areas for the CFA to undertake strategic control burns on the perimeter of townships to reduce fuel close to houses and buildings. These aid the CFA during suppression efforts to reduce the likelihood of the bush/grass fires entering the townships.

Fire Danger Ratings and Council

During Summer the CFA and Bureau of Meterology issue fire danger ratings for Victoria. There will be some changes to Council services on code red days.

How can I find out if there are any fires nearby?

  • Vic Emergency website shows the emergency events, warnings and incidents across Victoria in real time.
  • Download Emergency Management Victoria’s Emergencies App for mobile and up-to-date information about warnings or fire activity in your local area.
  • Call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667
  • Check out the CFA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts

More information

Prepare for possible power outages with a battery-operated radio, a charged phone that doesn’t rely on mains power and a torch. Find out more about power outages here.

Livestock and horses need to be removed early or moved to low risk areas early in the day. Find out more at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Walking Forward Disaster Relief Team - NED).