Permits to allow fire season preparations

October 18, 2021 BY

If property owners are burning off as part of preparations for the coming fire season, the CFA is urging them to check local restrictions. Photo: COUNTRY FIRE AUTHORITY

PROPERTY owners in regional Victoria are being encouraged to start preparing for the coming fire season and complete fire prevention works.

The state government has announced a permit system to ensure those living in metropolitan Melbourne or any other restricted regions are not prevented from carrying out fire preparedness activities at a second property in regional Victoria.

As of October 7, regional property owners can apply to the relevant council where their second property is located for written formal approval to undertake fire preparedness of their properties.

Property owners will need to provide information about location, type of work to be undertaken and date of travel.

Strong winter rainfall means the fire season activity is expected to be below normal across the Otway Ranges, with a reduced risk of campaign bushfires in Victoria’s forested areas.

However, CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said property owners in some forested areas still had a lot of debris to clear following winter storms.

“We know how important it is to be prepared for the upcoming fire season – this system allows for this vital work while keeping regional communities safe,” Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes said.

“Our emergency services agencies are preparing for the upcoming fire season and we’re asking all Victorians to do their bit to prepare in a COVIDSafe way.”

Councils began issuing permits on October 11.

For residents traveling from metropolitan Melbourne or any other restricted regions, the Chief Health Officer’s directions that apply to their primary residence will travel with them.

Regional property owners are encouraged to use local contractors or neighbours to determine if preparedness work is required ahead of making travel plans to undertake the work. Local contractors should also be used to undertake preparedness work, wherever possible.

Local councils will continue to issue Fire Prevention Notices where it is deemed necessary to place an obligation on property owners. Residents issued with a Fire Prevention Notice are legally bound to comply and can travel to their property to clean it up.

Mr Heffernan said even a “normal” fire season presented a high risk to communities, so now was the time for people to prepare their property.

For more information on the permit scheme, head to the Coronavirus Victoria website.

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