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Fire Management

Fire Danger Period

The Fire Danger Period commenced for Bass Coast on 16 December 2019.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) declares the Fire Danger Period to restrict the use of fire in the community which helps prevent fires from starting.

Total Fire Bans are declared by the CFA on days when fires are likely to spread rapidly and become hard to control. During a Total Fire Ban you can't light, maintain or use a fire in the open, or to carry out any activity in the open that causes, or is likely to cause, a fire. Visit the CFA website to check if a Total Fire Ban is in force in any of the fire districts.

The penalties for lighting fires illegally during the Fire Danger Period and on Total Fire Ban Days include large fines and possible imprisonment. If you would like more information, contact the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

In Bass Coast Shire, no burning off or incinerators are allowed in residential areas at any time.

Rural Burning Off Guidelines

Our Rural Burning Off Guidelines aim to protect the amenity of all residents and visitors to Bass Coast.

It is important that rural property owners are aware of the Guidelines. They operate in conjunction with our General Local Law and were developed after consultation with a number of relevant bodies. They also address the health issues that can arise from these situations, particularly if certain prohibited materials are burned.

What are prohibited materials?

  • Rubber or plastic substances
  • Petroleum oil or waste material containing petroleum oil
  • Paints or receptacles which contain or which contained paints
  • Manufactured chemicals or pressurised cans
  • Food waste
  • Other offensive or noxious substances

Bushfire Place of Last Resort

A Bushfire Place of Last Resort (also known as a Neighbourhood Safer Place), sits within the high risk bushfire survival options.

It is a building or space within a community that may provide some protection from radiant heat - the biggest killer during a bushfire. It does not provide the same level of protection as a well-constructed defendable home, private or neighbourhood bushfire shelter, or a community fire refuge.

Some key things to remember

  • It is an option only when your Bushfire Survival Plan has failed.
  • It is not an alternative to having a Bushfire Survival Plan.
  • Many houses provide more effective protection than a designated Place of Last Resort.
  • There will be no provision for pets and no amenities such as food, drinks, or toilets should be expected.
  • Please consider how you would travel to a Bushfire Place of Last Resort as traffic congestion and road accidents, fire activity and smoke may become an problem.

In many instances there will not be a Place of Last Resort identified in your local area or close to your home, so please make sure you have a Bush Fire Survival Plan.

Bushfire Place of Last Resort Locations

  • Inverloch - Inverloch Community Hub grounds and footpath surrounding the hub at the intersection of A'Beckett Street and Reilly Street
  • Grantville - Memorial Park - 1504-1510 Bass Highway
  • Pioneer Bay - Daisy Road Reserve - 11 Daisy Avenue
  • Cowes/Silverleaves - Cowes Recreation Reserve - 1-15 Church Street, Cowes
  • Cape Woolamai - Woolamai Park - 11-19 Sunnyside Avenue
  • Cape Paterson - Anchor Parade Road/Park Parade Road Reserve

The Municipal Neighbourhood Safer Places Plan has been used as the framework when considering Neighbourhood Safer Places. Answers to common questions can be found on the CFA website CFA Neighbourhood Safer Places.

Municipal Fire Management Plan

The Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC) has developed the Bass Coast Municipal Fire Management Plan. The Plan is the result of continued collaboration by government agencies and land managers from across the municipality who make up the MFMPC.

This includes the CFA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Phillip Island Nature Parks (PINP), Council, VicRoads, and Victoria Police, who are all signatories of the Plan, together with AusNet Services, Westernport Water and South Gippsland Water.

The Plan contains information on bushfire risk, the risk of fire associated with structures and chemicals, and identifies work that takes place across member agencies to reduce these fire risks.

Fire Prevention on Council Land

Fire agencies, land managers and private property owners implement measures to reduce the likelihood and consequence of bushfires in Bass Coast.

We work to prevent fires starting on land under its management and to reduce the potential for fire to spread from Council's land to adjoining properties, should one start.

The work we undertakes to meet its responsibilities include:

  • Roadside slashing program to reduce roadside fuels and reduce the likelihood of ignitions caused by hot vehicle parts; and
  • Works in parks and reserves to maintain areas of high public use through slashing and vegetation management.

The Coast and Bushland Fire Prevention Plan for 2018/19 has been updated and developed, which outlines works we undertake to reduce the impact of fire in our Coast and Bushland Reserves.

Municipal Fire Prevention Officer

The municipality appoints a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer (MFPO) who is responsible for issuing permits to burn during the Fire Danger Period and issues Fire Prevention Notices for hazard removal to private landowners in Bass Coast.

Council may enter private lands to remove fire hazards if Fire Prevention Notices are not complied with. A Fire Prevention Notice may be served only if the fire prevention officer forms the opinion that it is necessary to do so to protect life or property from the threat of fire.

Fire Prevention Notices tend to be served on larger blocks of land in or abutting residential areas, and on residential blocks where a higher risk is identified. These notices will ask for a reduction in fire fuel and may ask for breaks in vegetation to be installed, or for fire breaks to be slashed on rural or farming properties.