Are you fire ready?
Fire is one of the most destructive natural disasters to occur in Australia. It affects lives, destroys property and damages the environment. Everyone in the City of Melton should prepare their property for a grassfire or bushfire. You can stay fire-safe this summer by:
- reducing the amount of fire fuel present on your property, by mowing, raking, slashing and burning off (conditions apply)
- clearing gutters and roof areas of leaf litter
- cutting back overhanging tree branches close to property
- cutting grass to less than 10cm
- remove flammable material from around your property
Council officers will be inspecting private property during the fire season, and Fire Prevention Notices will be issued where fire hazards are identified.
Follow up inspections will also be conducted to ensure properties have been cleared of hazards. Landowners who fail to comply with these notices will receive fines in excess of $1,600.00 and will also pay the costs of having their properties cleared by Council.
Warnings and updates
Visit VicEmergency for current information on fire risk and emergencies.
- Warnings are issued when a fire has started and you need to take action. Make sure you understand the three levels of warnings and what they mean.
- There are three different levels of warnings – Advice, Watch and Act and Emergency Warning.
- Don’t expect warnings to be issued in any particular order. The first warning you hear about could be an Emergency Warning.
- You should never wait to receive an official warning before you leave. Bushfires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes.
- Always use more than one source for warnings. Go to VicEmergency, download the VicEmergency App, listen to local radio or ring the VicEmergency Information Line on 1800 226 226.
- People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a speech/communication impairment can contact VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
- For help with English, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to telephone VicEmergency Hotline. If you know someone who cannot speak English, provide them with this number.
Information in languages other than English
Fire Rescue Victoria have videos on their website about how people can prepare for grassfires this fire season.
Preparing for a fire
Fire Season Plan
Grassfires can be just as dangerous as bushfires.
We all need to play our part in making sure we are fire ready and each year at Melton City Council we undertake fire prevention works to limit the spread of fire and protect our municipality. Melton City Council's Melton Municipal Fire Management Plan(PDF, 2MB) lists what work will be undertaken.
If you live or work close to bush, grassland, parks or paddocks on the outskirts of Melbourne or a regional centre, you could be at risk of fire this summer.
You need to understand your risk and know how to prepare and what to do when a fire starts.
Fire Survival Plan and Fire Ready Kit
Melton City Council encourages all residents to have an up-to-date fire safety plan. Listed below is recommended steps to ensure your family and property is safe in fire season.
You need a well thought out Fire Survival Plan if you live or holiday in high risk bushfire or grassfire area in Victoria.
Things to take into consideration include:
- when should I leave?
- what should I take with me?
- what if my car won't start?
- what if it's a school day?
CFA has produced a Fire Ready Kit that can assist you in developing your Fire Survival Plan.
Advice for people who live next to grassland
- If you live next to grassland, you should have already cleared weeds and removed firewood and other rubbish from around your home and fenceline.
- If you live next to grassland and a grassfire starts, you need to quickly move a one or two streets away from the fire. Avoid driving in a grassfire because it will be smoky and hard to see. Traffic jams and accidents are likely. You also need to keep the roads clear for emergency services .
- Act early & don't wait to receive a warning before moving one or two streets away from a grassfire.
Advice for people who live a few streets away from grassland
- If you don't live directly next to grassland and a grassfire starts, it’s safer to stay where you are because it’s very unlikely a fire will spread past the first row of fences and houses.
- Don't try to get a closer look at a grassfire – you will put yourself and others in danger.
- Avoid driving in a grassfire because it will be smoky and hard to see. Traffic jams and accidents are likely. You also need to keep the roads clear for emergency services.
Advice for people who live near bush
- If you live near bush you could be impacted by bushfire this summer – even if you’re on the outskirts of Melbourne or a regional centre.
- Leaving before a fire starts is the safest option to protect yourself and your family.
- On hot, dry, windy days, fires can start and spread quickly. Waiting to leave means a drive that normally takes a few minutes could take hours, or you may not be able to get out at all.
- Talk to your household, family or neighbours and check Fire Danger Ratings daily so you know when to leave.
CFA community meetings
Attend a CFA community meeting to learn about the bushfire risk in your area and how you and your community can turn this awareness into action. This is also a great forum for connecting with neighbours that may be able to provide you with assistance during an emergency. Each fire season CFA will hold a number of these sessions around the municipality, for more information contact CFA District 14 on 8746 1400 or visit the CFA website.
Pets and bushfire
Do you have a plan in place for your pets in the event of a fire?
It is your responsibility to have an emergency plan for your pets, below are some suggestions that may assist you when developing your Pet Emergency Plan.
- Make a list of where you could house your pets if you decide to leave early. This may include boarding kennels, a relative/friend’s place or you may be able to keep them with you.
- Discuss with neighbours about protecting your pets if you are not at home during a bushfire. Keep in regular contact with your neighbours during the fire danger period to let them know your plans.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped or wearing a collar identification tag at all times. Ensure all contact information is current.
- Keep your Bushfire Relocation Kit for pets within easy reach so you are ready to leave early.
- If you choose to keep your pets with you, confine them early. Pets are safest inside a secure room, on a lead or in carriers.
- Make sure you have wet towels and woollen blankets available to cover and protect your pets.
- Make sure they have plenty of water to drink.
- Include an emergency contact outside your area that is linked to your pets’ records.
- The National Pet Register provides free identification for cats and dogs.
- Practise how you will move your pets if you leave. It takes longer than you think.
Visit the CFA website for more information about pets and bushfires.
Local information about the bushfire and grassfire risks in your area, Fire Danger Rating forecasts and Total Fire Bans can be found on the CFA website. This information replaces Community Information Guides previously produced by the CFA.