Annual Fire Prevention Inspections
Each year as a part of our requirements under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 Council will conduct fire prevention inspections across the Campbelltown Council Area. These inspections identify properties that require certain works to be carried out to reduce the threat of fire to life or property. During our annual inspections, we focus on reducing the fuel loads across the landscape to minimise the threat of ignition and spread of fires. A simple way of achieving this on a large scale is through the enforcement of grass slashing and mowing across private landholdings. In some cases, more substantial work is required.
What is winter and spring maintenance?
Although more than 75% of fire prevention preparedness involves grass slashing and mowing, some landowners need to remove more substantial undergrowth on their properties to separate ground fuels from the tree canopy and nearby dwellings. Winter and spring maintenance can be conducted well before the fire season. This work may involve: slashing undergrowth and weeds, removing fallen timber, rubbish piles and tree branches, or pruning tree branches back from dwellings and fences.
Why do I have to maintain my vacant block?
Vacant blocks left unmaintained can cause a number of issues to neighbouring properties. Not only do overgrown blocks detract aesthetically from the local area they can harbour vermin, encourage illegal dumping, spread weeds and other feral species of plants and cause health issues to residents who may have sensitivities to grasses and pollens. Easiest way to maintain vacant blocks is to engage a contractor who can slash/cut the vegetation on the block regularly.
How do I find a contractor?
A number of private local contractors offer services to assist you prepare for the fire season and maintain your property in a fire ready condition all year round. Please check local business directories and or local paper. Council’s Fire Prevention Officer can also provide contact details for qualified contractors. For landowners who do not live locally, we recommend that before and after photos are taken by your contractor to ensure that work is completed to your satisfaction.
Why does council promote winter and spring maintenance?
Maintaining larger properties can be time-consuming, expensive or difficult to complete requiring more than just grass slashing. If you complete this work over winter and spring it spreads out the workload, and if you are engaging a contractor to help complete the work, they’ll be more readily available. Regular maintenance of properties can be less expensive than the last minute big clean up before the start of the Fire Danger Season.
What happens if I don’t clean up my property?
Maintaining your property in winter and spring is not compulsory however you are expected to have your property prepared well in advance of the fire season. Your property will be inspected during our annual fire inspections in September/October and if it still assessed as being a fire risk, an order will be issued (in accordance with Section 105F Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005) directing you to:
- Carry out fire prevention works to remove any fire risks as specified, and
- Maintain your property for the duration of the declared Fire Danger Season.
If you do not follow the directions of the Order, Council will arrange for the works specified in the order to be completed by our contractors, at your cost (plus administration fees). Furthermore, an expiation will be issued with a fee of $315.00 attached.