Frankston City is fortunate to have a wide variety of natural reserves within the municipality, providing a diversity of habitats not only for indigenous wildlife but for our international visitors, the migratory bird. Council also has invested significant resources in planting and establishing street trees and protecting our community forest.
The State Government has introduced new exemptions for bushfire protection into the Planning Schemes of all municipalities considered to be at risk of wildfire, including Frankston. The new exemptions allow for the removal of vegetation without a planning permit in certain circumstances, to reduce fuel loads around homes and minimise risk to life and property from bushfire.
The State Government's '10/30 Right' and Fenceline Clearing
View the 10-30 Right and Fence Clearing Frequently Asked Questions brochure in Related Documents below.
Trees and Native Vegetation
There are many good reasons to have trees - both public and private - as part of our urban environment. The Bushfire Royal Commission has heard that in some case native vegetation, including trees, can protect residents and buildings from radiant heat and ember attacks in the event of a bushfire.
It can also provide soil stability to help prevent erosion and landslip, as well as shade, shelter, scenic and emotional benefits, for example:
Providing shade and creating cooler temperatures - reducing air conditioning costs in the summer, and providing a wind break reducing heating costs in winter
- Filter airborne pollutants
- Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide
- Reduce stormwater runoff
- Increase the value of our homes
- Creating softness and beauty in otherwise harsh streetscapes, which adds to the value of properties
- Increasing the quality of life for residents by introducing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban surroundings
- Providing a tranquil 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
- However, 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 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.
The ability to defend your property from bushfire can be influenced by a combination of factors, including:
- The preparation of 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 implementing a sensible balance between providing a safer home, maintaining vegetation on their property, and preserving our natural environment.
Roadside Firewood Collection
The Department of Environment and Primary Industry advises you can remove fallen wood from certain roadside without a permit during 'firewood collection periods'. These will be advertised in local papers two weeks prior to planned fuel reduction burns. There will be 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.
Fire prevention is a priority and Council is remaining vigilant to ensure the Frankston City municipality is prepared. Council welcomes responsible initiatives from the State Government to assist with fire prevention.
Keep Informed and Be Vigilant