As part of an annual Fire Slash program, Yarra Ranges Council and contractors are slashing roadside grass to cut back winter/spring growth.
The program, which runs every year through to December, involves slashing grass on more than 800 roads across the Yarra Ranges.
Council’s Parks and Bushland Teams monitor each site for access, organising slashing when the ground conditions permit.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Jim Child, said that this year we are anticipating a higher fire risk than we have over the past few years due to the El Nino weather conditions.
“Over the past few years’ it has been wetter than average, however this year is seeing a ‘normal’ bushfire risk which means we need to start acting now to clean up around our homes” Cr Child said.
“For those residents that are new to the Yarra Ranges, you need to ensure that you have downloaded the Vic Emergency App and start getting your emergency plan organised.
“For our longer term residents – you know what to do, update your emergency plan and prepare your property by clearing up around your home including gutters, clearing fallen leaves and twigs, keeping grass cut short and where possible use pebbles and not mulch in garden beds close to your home.
“Drains and road shoulders on rural roads are a particular focus for us – some nature strips and drains will be slashed as part of the program, to ensure sight and safety for drivers, and that drainage remains clear.
“Ahead of the fire season, you’ll see an increase in mowing as you travel through the region. Please be understanding as we continue this important work.”
Cr Child encouraged community members to make the most of their weekly FOGO bins and bundled branches collections (coming to the region from December) to keep properties fire-ready.
“We all have a part to play in preparing for the fire season and minimising the risk of fire spreading,” he said.
“This doesn’t have to be a colossal body of work, though – regularly mowing grass, picking up sticks, branches and leaf litter, mowing your nature strip and keeping a good clear area around your home can all help to reduce the risk of grassfires starting and spreading.
“Visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/fireprep for more information on preparing your property.”