Fire hazard clean ups on neglected properties to start next week

Posted Thursday 31 January, 04:37pm

Property owners who have ignored fire prevention notices will have to pay contractors’ fees when Ararat Rural City Council starts conducting mandatory clean-ups next week.

Under the Country Fire Authority 1958, Council has a legal obligation to reduce the risk of fire, so each year before summer Council’s Fire Prevention Officers conduct property inspections across the municipality.

Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said properties that were assessed as having high fuel loads were then issued with a fire prevention notice that obligated them to remove hazards such as long grass, stockpiles of materials and other flammable debris.

“Property owners are given 21 days to comply with the notice and if they fail to do so, they are fined up to $1600,” Dr Harrison said.

“Under the Act, it’s also mandatory for Council to remove the fire hazards on these properties, and we have engaged contractors to start this work next week. Council will then recoup the cost of that work from the property owner.

“Only eight properties out of 142 that received fire prevention notices require the mandatory clean-ups, which is a great result and shows most people are aware of their responsibilities.”

Dr Harrison said Council’s Fire Prevention Officers will also start a second round of inspections this week with further Fire Prevention Notices issued as necessary.

For more information about fire prevention notices, phone the Council on 5355 0200.

More information about preparing your property for the fire danger season can be found on the Country Fire Authority website – www.cfa.vic.gov.au