By Jessica Micallef
Macedon Ranges residents are urged to “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” during the upcoming bushfire season.
The fire danger period for the Macedon Ranges and Hume begins on Monday, December 14 which means burn-offs and open fires are banned.
Macedon Fire Brigade captain Ross Luke said the while the region had a lot of recent rainfall, grass growth posed an added risk along with bushfires.
“We always have the potential for bushfires, but this year with the extra grass growth, we are encouraging land owners to mow or slash grass while it is safe to do so,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of rainfall and things are very green and we’ve had some phenomenal grass growth and when that grass dries off, we are going to have a high potential for grass fires.”
To avoid a catastrophic bushfire season that ravaged parts of New South Wales and Victoria earlier this year happening in the Macedon Ranges, Mr Luke is reminding residents to not become complacent.
“Clean up around the property, make sure gutters are clean, grass is cut, flammable items such as firewood is removed from the house or verandah and seek information from the CFA website,” he said.
“Make sure you have a fire plan with several options because not all options may fall into place on those bad days.
“If your plan is to leave, make sure you have your bags packed and those important documents, medications and phone charges in one area that you can grab at a moment’s notice.
“Monitor the news and radio and other methods for information on those bad days.”
Residents also need to have all permitted burn-offs extinguished before the fire danger period begins on Monday.
“Monitor large burn-offs over the coming weeks because we have had conditions where fires have popped up a week or two after a burn-off that was done last minute,” Mr Luke said.
“Continue to monitor the burn-off to ensure there is no re-ignition during the fire danger period.”
To help residents prepare their homes in the event of a bushfire, free green waste disposal is available at Macedon Ranges council’s transfer stations in Kyneton, Romsey and Woodend.
Details: mrsc.vic.gov.au/transfer-stations or call 5422 0333.