Bushfire Prevention in Frankston City
Frankston City Council prepares for the fire season with inspections of properties and fuel reductions works in Council reserves, including manual clearing of fine fuels and controlled burn-offs.
Frankston City Council has a current Integrated Fire Management Plan and program of fire prevention works undertaken in the lead up to the declaration of the fire danger period, including:
- Maintaining fire breaks (including grass slashing and maintaining accessibility)
- Vegetation management
- Tree maintenance
- Responding to requests for fire management in specific locations
Council is working through the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (or MFMPC), which includes representatives from the Country Fire Authority, Victoria Police, Department Of Environment and Primary Industry, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and Vicroads, to finalise and implement bushfire management plans prior to every fire danger Period. Council's Integrated Fire Management Plan is a live document audited by the Country Fire Authority every year
Council has a range of Fire Management plans to prepare and respond to bushfires in the municipality, these plans also dictate what Fire Prevention works are required in Council’s 55 Natural Reserves to assure they meet current bushfire management standards and legislative requirements. Whilst Council will make every effort to insure public safety it is important that all residents have their own personal fire plan.
The Frankston Municipal Fire Management Plan
This document is the overarching plan for Council and is a requirement of the Country Fire Authority Act 1958. It provides a standard for the way all fire prevention activities are undertaken in the City of Frankston. (This document is available on this page.)
The Bushfire Management Strategy
The Fire Management Strategy has been approved by the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee and is available on the Council Website. The Frankston City Council Natural Reserves Bushfire Management Strategy has been developed by Terramatrix to become an overarching document that provides guidance on how Council manages its 55 Bush land Reserves in relation to Bushfire Management. It aims to ensure Council’s Natural Reserves are managed consistently to meet obligations for public safety, environmental care, legal obligations and community and council expectations in accordance with the Frankston Municipal Fire Management Plan. The main output of the Strategy is to identify and assess hazards, community exposure and vulnerability to bushfire and prioritise the 55 natural reserves based on this assessment of bushfire risk. This classification gives a management priority for Council to administer a range of fire management treatments in our natural reserves based on a consistent assessment process. Reserves were classified as low, moderate or high fire management priority, with a range of suitable treatments for each category outlined to reduce bushfire risk. This document is available as a related Document.
Fire Management Plans
These plans are location specific and are created for all High Risk reserves as listed in the Fire Management Strategy, the plan identifies the nature and level of the risk for that location and identifies areas where fuel breaks or fuel reduction zones should be established. The plan also provides details on the location of access points for emergency services and the public and vegetation types and classes. Fire Management Plans were developed by an external consultant (Terramatrix) to insure current fire science was being applied and Environmental implications are considered. (These plans are an internal document; however a copy can be obtained by making a freedom of information application to council.)
Fire Management Statements
These statements are location specific and are created for Moderate and Low risk natural reserves. These statements are a very basic document that highlights access points, current maintenance methods and emergency information. These plans are currently being developed and are not available to the public, once completed they will be available on this page.
Council's Compliance and Safety Department undertakes proactive fire risk inspections across the municipality to monitor/reduce areas of fire risk. Over 1400 properties, including vacant blocks, residential properties, bushland blocks and commercial and industrial areas, in the municipality are inspected for fire risk at the beginning of November.
Residents/property owners who don't have their properties in a fire ready state are issued with a Fire Prevention Notice pursuant to the Country Fire Authority Act 1958, if works are not completed as requested in the Fire Prevention Notice works may completed by council at the owner's cost. Failure to adhere to a fire prevention notice could result in fines of up to $15,000 and / or imprisonment.
Council is committed to managing its bush land reserves in a way which combines both environmental conservation values and community safety through fire prevention measures and education.
Frankston City has a number of significant natural reserves and Council's Natural Reserve Rangers carry out fire prevention works in all 55 reserves and along roadsides, prior to the fire danger period of every year. Works include fuel reduction and ecological burning in spring and autumn, when weather permits, slashing and maintaining fire breaks and reducing potential fire risks in our reserves as per the fire management plans (see fire management plans section).
The Natural Reserve Rangers patrol during the fire danger period on weekends and days of high fire danger, and alert the CFA when necessary.
The CFA hosts a number of Fire Ready Victoria sessions over summer throughout Frankston City. Many of the sessions will also have Council's Municipal Fire Prevention Officer in attendance, to assist residents who have queries or issues with Council land or neighboring properties that may require inspection.
Attending these community meetings will help you:
- Gain advice and information about bushfire behaviour
- Identify and reduce your fire risk
- Prepare your property
- Build your plan of action
For details on these meetings, to register your interest or to book a Fire Ready Victoria session for your neighbourhood visit CFA.
Frankston City has a Municipal Emergency Management Plan to manage municipal resources and coordinate community support in the event of major emergencies.
The Municipal Emergency Planning Committee (MEMPC), comprising representatives from Council, Victoria Police, CFA, SES, Red Cross, VAS, Coast Guard, DHS and other support and relief agencies, regularly reviews and updates the Plan to ensure it is current.
Council has recently revised and updated Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) in the lead up to the fire season. Upgrades to the plan include new activation plans, enhanced recovery procedures, links to other Council plans, the establishment of a Community Recovery Committee, and is seeking formal agreements with neighboring municipalities for support.
Council maintains over 5,500 fire hydrants across Frankston City to ensure the CFA can easily access water in an emergency. Council's ongoing maintenance includes painting the red and white posts, clearing the lid and surrounds of any overgrown shrubs and installing reflective blue 'cats eyes' on the road to assist night time location of fire hydrants.
We welcome residents' assistance in maintaining their fire hydrants by mowing the surrounds to ensure the hydrant is visible from both sides and avoid parking within one meter of hydrants. Council does provide an adopt a hydrant program and for further information contact the Municipal Fire Prevention officer.
Keep Informed and Be Vigilant
- Visit CFA and prepare your own Fire Ready Kit
- Contact: Vic Emergency Hotline: 1800 226 226
- Listen to 774ABC Radio
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