Fire

Important information about fire preparedness in the Northern Grampians Shire.

Municipal Fire Management Plan

The Northern Grampians Shire Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee has prepared a Municipal Fire Management Plan (MFMP) in accordance with the Emergency Management Act 2013.

The MFMP contains plans and input from council, the Country Fire Authority, Forest Fire Management Victoria, GWMWater, the Department of Transport, Victoria Police, and other key stakeholders. The MFMP is a sub-plan of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan.

The current NGS MFMP is accessible by selecting the link below.

Municipal-Fire-Management-Plan-2019-22-V3.2.pdf(PDF, 5MB)

The dates for the Fire Danger Period are set each year by the CFA. 

The Fire Danger Period in Northern Grampians Shire ended on 4 April 2022.

Prepare your property

Reduce the fuel load on your property by:

  • Mowing or slashing grass and weeds to less than 10cm high
  • Raking up leaves and bark in the immediate area around buildings
  • Pruning low branches from around buildings and fences
  • Removing rubbish and garden waste 

The CFA website has more information on how to maintain your property. You can also assess your fire risk with the following CFA interactive tool.

You may be able to burn off in some areas but be sure to check permit requirements first. Please continue reading for further information. 

Permits to burn

Step 1.Rural Zones

Outside of a declared Fire Danger Period, persons in a rural zone do not require a permit.

During a declared Fire Danger Period, persons in a rural zone may apply for a Schedule 13 Permit to Burn Fine Fuel such as grass, stubble, or weeds. A permit will only be granted where there is an essential need to burn during the Fire Danger Period. For example, farming - broad acre cropping. In Northern Grampians Shire, the CFA issue Schedule 13 Permits online via the Fire Permits Victoria website. 

Step 2.Other Zones

Under council's General Local Law 2022, an Open Air Permit to Burn is required to burn materials exceeding one cubic metre in size on land zoned as Residential, Commercial, or Industrial outside of a declared Fire Danger Period. Some exceptions do apply, our Community Safety page provides additional information.

Burning in these zones is not permitted during the Fire Danger Period.

To ascertain your property zoning, please refer to the Northern Grampians Shire Community Map.

More information on fire restrictions can be found on the Country Fire Authority website www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

 

Fire hazard inspections

Our Fire Prevention Officers inspect properties across the Northern Grampians Shire during the Fire Danger Period.

Fire Prevention Notices will be issued to property owners who have not taken appropriate measures to reduce the risk of fire on their property. To find out more about Fire Prevention Notices, read our Fire-Prevention-Notice-FAQs(PDF, 183KB).

If you do not comply with the notice, you will face penalties including:

  • All contractor costs, plus
  • Administration fee of $194 plus
  • An infringement penalty of $1,849

More information is available regarding our fire hazard inspection process below. 

Fire Hazard Inspections Process

If you received a Fire Prevention Notice last year, we will send you an Advisory Letter. 

This letter is a reminder that all residents have a legal responsibility to maintain their properties in order to reduce the threat and spread of bush and grass fires. It is sent out as a courtesy, allowing you time to prepare your property ahead of any inspections made by our Fire Prevention Officers.

Our Fire Prevention Officers conduct fire hazard inspections throughout the shire, they will visit your area. This is to make sure your neighbourhood is safe and prepared for the fire season.

If we see a property with a fire hazard, we will issue a Fire Prevention Notice. This notice requires the property owner to remove the listed hazard in 21 days from the issue date of the notice, failure to act will lead to further action and an infringement.

Our officers will conduct a second and final inspection after the due date listed on your Fire Prevention Notice. This inspection is scheduled in order to check that the hazard has been removed.

If the hazard has been removed, the officer will make note of your compliance and this will be the end of the matter.

If the hazard has not been removed, council will engage a contractor to remove the hazard at the cost of the property owner. This is called compulsory clearance.

Costs associated at this stage

If the property passes the second inspection, no fees will be incurred.

If the property fails the second inspection, the matter progresses to the next stage and fees will be incurred.

An authorised contractor will attend the property and remove the fire hazard within seven days of a final inspection. If the contractor arrives and the hazard has been removed, you will only be charged for the contractor's time to attend the site and an administration fee, rather than the full contractor fee for works.

Costs associated at this stage

  • Contractor's costs, plus

  • $194 administration fee

Council will issue a Fire Hazard Infringement to property owners who fail to comply with Fire Prevention Notices. These are issued under Section 41D of the Country Fire Authority Act 1958. Failure to pay the penalty can result in further litigation.

Costs associated at this stage

  • $1,849 infringement penalty