The many natural reserves around Frankston are home to indigenous wildlife and migratory birds. Council regularly invests in:
- planting and establishing street trees
- protecting our community forests.
The State Government introduced exemptions for bushfire protection into the Planning Schemes of all municipalities considered to be at risk of wildfire, including Frankston City. The exemptions allow for vegetation to be removed without a planning permit in some cases to:
- reduce fuel loads around homes
- minimise risk to life and property from bushfire.
Fire prevention is a priority and Council is remaining vigilant to make sure the Frankston City municipality is prepared. Council welcomes responsible initiatives from the State Government to help with fire prevention.
The State Government's 10/30 Right and fenceline clearing
Trees and native vegetation
There are many good reasons to have trees as part of our public and private urban environment. The Bushfire Royal Commission found that native vegetation, including trees, can protect residents and buildings from radiant heat and ember attacks in the event of a bushfire in some cases.
Native vegetation can also:
- provide soil stability to help prevent erosion and landslip,
- provide shade, shelter, scenic and emotional benefits such as reducing heating and cooling costs for your home
- filter airborne pollutants
- remove atmospheric carbon dioxide
- reduce stormwater runoff
- increase the value of our homes
- create softness and beauty in otherwise harsh streetscapes, which adds to the value of properties
- increase the quality of life for residents by introducing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban surroundings
- providing a peaceful environment.
Forest or coastal areas
A bushfire will be very hot yet may not move quickly. Fires in coastal scrub also burn very hot and do not move as fast as a grass fire.
The rate and intensity of a fire depends on the amount, type and moisture content of the vegetation. Grass, leaves and twigs, shrubs, trees and bark are all fire fuel. Houses are also fuel for a fire. The more fuel there is, the more ferocious the fire.
Grass fires are forecast for the upcoming fire season with fuel loads at their highest level following heavy rains. Townships, suburbs and farms surrounded by grassland are vulnerable to fire. Grass dries out much more quickly than bush or scrub and can ignite earlier in the day. These fires travel along the ground with great speed, consuming grass, crops and stubble.
Extreme weather, terrain and vegetation all affect the intensity and spread of grass fires.
- Terrain - Fires move much faster uphill because the flames can reach more unburnt fuel in front of the fire. As the heat rises, it dehydrates the fuel ahead and makes it more combustible. The rate of fire spread uphill doubles for every 10 degree of slope.
- Vegetation - The rate and intensity of a fire depends on the amount, type and moisture content of the vegetation. Grass, leaves and twigs, shrubs, trees and bark are all fire fuel. The more fuel there is, the more ferocious the fire. A forest fire will be very hot yet may not move quickly. Fires in coastal scrub also burn very hot and do not move as fast as a grass fire.
- Wind - Sudden and unexpected changes in wind can be dangerous and life-threatening during a fire. A fire driven by a northerly wind will change direction when a south-westerly change creating another fire front from what was previously the side of the fire. Strong winds can lift roofs and break windows, allowing embers to enter and start fires in houses.
While the risk of wildfire in Frankston is relatively low, everyone needs to be fire ready, no matter where they live.
There are many factors to consider when preparing to defend your property from bushfires including:
- preparing a bushfire survival plan
- house location and surrounding land
- building structure and materials
- water supply, including tanks, pools, pumps or sprinklers.
Residents should seek advice from their local CFA regarding their bushfire survival plans and should seek advice from Council about finding a sensible balance between:
- providing a safer home
- maintaining vegetation on their property
- preserving our natural environment.
Roadside firewood collection
You can remove fallen wood from certain roadsides without a permit during firewood collection periods. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will advertise this period in local papers 2 weeks prior to planned fuel reduction burns. Please check signs along roadsides showing where fallen wood may be collected during these periods.
There will also be a VicRoads endorsed traffic management plan in place to manage road safety and traffic congestion.
Fuel reduction burning
For more information, please contact:
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