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					Fire Prevention

    Classification:            Council Policy
    Policy Name:               Fire Prevention
    First Issued / Approved:   May 2003
    Last Reviewed:             19 June 2007
    Next Review:               November 2010
    Responsible Officer:       General Manager Corporate and Community Services
    Relevant Legislation:      Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005
    Related Policies:


Introduction

The Council area contains both urbanised areas and undeveloped areas. The areas that
remain undeveloped are generally located in the Hills Face Zone. These areas are at risk of
bushfire and require maintenance during the fire season to minimise the spread of fire.
Council is responsible as a landowner to minimise the likelihood of fire spread on its own
property.

Strategic Plan Desired Outcomes

•      Natural environments and watercourses protected and conserved

•      Leading best practice and compliance in Council business

Our Approach

•      Control and minimise bushfire risk

•      Remain compliant with all relevant legislation, standards and codes

Legislative Requirements and Corporate Policy Context

Council has a role in minimising bushfire risk under the Fire and Emergency Services Act
2005 as well as being a land owner. It has the power to issue notice to ensure flammable
growth is managed appropriately.

Policy

Notice Servicing Procedure

Flammable Growth

•      Notices will be served in Mid October each year to clear flammable growth.

•      Owners will be given four to six weeks to undertake the work.

•      Follow up Council inspections to commence when the period has expired or at the
       commencement of the fire danger season.
Notices

•   Council will hold and maintain suitable records of all allotments in the Hills Face area for
    the purpose of Bush Fire control.

•   Adequate records of all notices served will be maintained to permit follow up inspections
    of work undertaken.

•   Notices will be served on all vacant allotments requiring flammable growth clearance.

•   Notice will be served on built-on allotments for flammable growth clearance where
    Council deems a hazard exists.

Clearing Techniques

Flammable Growth

Clearing of flammable growth is to be undertaken by:

•   tractor slashing;

•   manually, using brush cutters;

•   herbicide spraying following germination of weed growth; and

•   burning may be carried out provided that it is in accordance with Fire and Emergency
    Services Act 2005.

The area of allotment to be cleared:

•   for allotments less than 1.0 Ha in area - clear total allotment; and

•   for allotments greater than 1.0 Ha in area - clear a 10 metre wide strip around the
    perimeter of the allotment.

To ensure that clearing of flammable growth is undertaken, Council will:

•   maintain a Schedule of Subcontractors able to undertake tractor slashing and manual
    brush cutting;

•   distribute the contractor list with fire-break notices; and

•   liaise with contractors to ensure that the work is undertaken to a satisfactory standard.

Where no action is taken by owners, Council will engage a contractor to clear the land. A fee
will be levied on the property owner by Council and an expiation notice may be issued for
non-compliance.

Council may undertake the clearing work if no contractor is available at the time.

Burning off by the Burnside Country Fire Service will be undertaken only when the owner,
contractor or Council is unable to do the work by slashing or brush cutting.
Council Property

Roadside Edges

•   Treatment to roadside edges shall, where practical, be for a distance of 3 metres from
    the edge of the pavement.

•   Where flat accessible slopes exists the area will be kept slashed with special attention at
    the commencement of the fire season.

•   Where the area is steep and inaccessible to mechanical equipment, it will be treated with
    a residual herbicide.

•   Resident maintained roadside edges shall be exempted from treatment unless Council
    considers the plantings to be a fire hazard.

•   All Hawthorn will be removed from road reserve areas where practicable.

•   Removal of Olives from road reserve areas except where single species do not present
    a hazard.

•   Areas adjacent to fire hydrants to be cleared of all flammable growth (grass, shrubs and
    trees).

Fire Control Lines

•   Fire control tracks throughout Mt. Osmond to be maintained.

•   Herbicide treatment along edges of track for a width of 5 metres with a residual herbicide
    in July/August.

•   Removal of Olives and Hawthorn within a minimum of 10 metres of the tracks.

•   Annual inspection prior to the commencement of the fire season and regrading where
    necessary.

•   Improvements to existing track (eg turning areas along track) and extending the control
    lines where possible.

Council Reserves

•   Annual clearance of flammable growth in a 10 metre strip.

•   Removal of all Hawthorn where practicable.

•   Removal of Olives from within the 10 metre strip.

•   Thinning out of tight copses of Olives into single species within the reserve or total
    removal where practicable.

•   An annual inspection of reserve areas to be carried out with the view to burning off
    operations when the build up of thatch becomes excessive, probably on a 5 year cycle.
Government/Private Board Acre Land

As per Council reserves above.

Availability of Council Plant

In the event of a bushfire, Council plant (for example, a water tanker) will be made available
as requested by the Country Fire Service both during and outside of normal working hours.

				
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Description: Fire Prevention