Surf Coast Shire’s Fire Prevention Roadside Slashing Program following the beginning of the Fire Danger Period this week.
The annual program began in the hinterland with three machines working their way from the northern part of the shire to the south, with work expected to take three to four weeks.
Councillor Heather Wellington said reducing the length of roadside grass had several benefits from a “risk reduction point of view” with the start of the fire danger period on Monday, November 20.
“Slashed grass is safer and easier for fire agencies to contain. Keeping grass slashed also means road reserves can serve as linear fire breaks when required,” she said.
“It reduces the potential for roadside ignition from cars, trailers, and machinery pulling over…and reduces radiant heat, which is the heat the grass produces when on fire.
“Longer grass has the potential to carry fire upwards, if it is short, the fire may just burn along the ground under trees and not ignite them.”
Cr Wellington said the Surf Coast community should be prepared for a hotter and drier bushfire season and asked farmers to refrain from using council road reserves for strip cattle grazing.
“Now is the time to start preparing. This includes updating your bushfire survival plan and undertaking preparation/maintenance works on your property,” she said.
“You don’t have to live near bush to be at risk of fire. Grassfire can be just as dangerous as Bushfire.
“Road reserves can contain areas of high conservation or have rare or endangered species of plants protected by laws. Strip grazing can interfere with planned works and cause unnecessary delays.”
For more information, visit surfcoast.vic.gov.au/FireReady or call the council’s customer service team on 5261 0600.