Preparing for fire

Fire safety plan

Nillumbik Shire Council encourages all residents who live in a high risk area to have an up-to-date fire safety plan.

Things to take into consideration include

  • When should I leave?
  • What should I take with me?
  • What if my car won't start?
  • What if it's a school day?
  • What shall I do with my pets/stock

CFA has produced a Fire Ready Kit which will assist in developing your fire safety plan.

The Red Cross website has resources and  documents in accessible formats such as audio, easy English and large print publications. 

Download the VicEmergency app

The new VicEmergency app has replaced the FireReady app. It will keep users informed and notified of all warnings and incidents near them or within their designated watch zones.

Those already using FireReady will just need to upgrade their app, which will automatically switch to the new VicEmergency app. Alternatively, users can search for VicEmergency in the App Store or GooglePlay.

Removal of vegetation for protection

The 10/30 rule and 10/50 rule allow residents and landowners to manage vegetation around their house and around other accommodation. The rules provide exemption from the need for a planning permit to clear vegetation around buildings and fences built before certain dates.

If you live within the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) the 10/50 rule applies. This means you can:

  • Clear any vegetation on your property, including trees, within 10 metres of a house and
  • Clear any vegetation except for trees within 50 metres 

If you live outside the Bushfire Management Overlay the 10/30 rule applies. This means that you can:

  • Clear any vegetation on your property, including trees, within 10 metres of a house and
  • Clear any vegetation except for trees within 30 metres

For advice on other vegetation removal contact Council on 9433 3111
 

Burgan removal

In December 2016, Council requested that the Minister for Planning approve a planning scheme amendment which corrected the species of Burgan referred to in the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

Since 2011, the botanical name Kunzea ericoides has been misapplied and refers to a species that occurs in New Zealand, not Australia. This has now been corrected to reflect the species that occurs more commonly in Nillumbik - Kunzea leptospermoides (Yarra Burgan).

Residents do not need to apply for a permit to remove Kunzea leptospermoides (Yarra Burgan).

The Amendment corrects the species name to Kunzea leptospermoides (Yarra Burgan) in the following clauses of the Nillumbik Planning Scheme:

  • Schedule 2 to the Special Use Zone (Bend of Islands)

  • Schedules 1, 3, and 4 of the Environmental Significance Overlay

  • Schedules 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 15 of the Significant Landscape Overlay

  • Schedule to Clause 52.17 (Native Vegetation).

Roadside vegetation removal

Council and VicRoads manage the roadsides in Nillumbik. You can remove vegetation from a VicRoads roadside but you will you require a permit.

Residents properties that adjoin Councils roadsides do not require a permit to:

  • Remove regionally controlled weeds and those weeds listed in Live Local Plant Local (5.07MB(PDF, 5MB) )
  • Maintain and mow any part of the road reserve abutting your property comprising exotic vegetation
  • Remove vegetation that has fallen onto the road from their land
  • Remove vegetation that is the subject of a fire prevention notice
  • Participate in works undertaken by friends groups, Landcare groups and community fireguard groups in accordance with an agreement approved by Council. 

Under Local Law No. 5 if a resident lives directly adjoining a roadside that has low environmental significance, the following can be undertaken without a permit:

  • removal of fine ground fuels (grass, leaves, twigs, loose bark)
  • removal of regionally controlled weeds and those weeds listed in Council’s publication Live Local Plant Local
  • maintenance and mowing of any part of the road reserve containing exotic vegetation abutting the property
  • removal of vegetation that has fallen onto the road from the resident’s land
  • removal of vegetation that is the subject of a fire prevention notice
  • participation in works undertaken by friends groups, Landcare groups and community fireguard groups in accordance with an agreement approved by Council.  

Under Local Law No.5 if a resident lives directly adjoining a roadside which has high environmental significance, the following can be undertaken without a permit:

  • removal of regionally controlled weeds and those weeds listed in Council’s publication Live Local Plant Local
  • maintenance and mowing of any part of the road reserve abutting the resident’s property comprising exotic vegetation
  • removal of vegetation that has fallen onto the road from the resident’s land
  • removal of vegetation that is the subject of a fire prevention notice
  • participation in works undertaken by friends groups, Landcare groups and community fireguard groups in accordance with an agreement approved by Council.

You cannot cut down trees from the roadside. To report dangerous trees contact Council 9433 3111 or VicRoads 131 171. 

Replacement of essential water

The Country Fire Authority Act 1958 provides powers to Fire Agencies to take water from any waterway or any other source of water supply. Essential Water is 'defined' as enough water for people, stock, and crops to survive. You can apply to have essential water replaced that has been removed from your private water supplies by Fire Agencies and used for fire suppression operations.

For information see the Environment, Land, Water and Planning website

For an application form contact Norm Golgerth 9431 3167. 

Private bushfire shelters (bunkers)

Leaving before a fire has started is always the safest option. When leaving is not an option, a private bushfire shelter can provide protection. Bushfire shelters do not require a planning permit however, if vegetation needs to be removed for the bushfire bunker,  a planning permit may be required, contact Council on 9433 3111

A building permit is required for a bushfire shelter, and this can be obtained from a registered building surveyor

Further information

Animal and pet management

See related information for fact sheets about managing your pets and livestock. 

You should have a pet emergency plan

  • Make a list of where you could house your pets if you decide to leave early. This may include boarding kennels, a friend’s house or you may be able to keep them with you
  • Ask neighbours to help protect your pets if you are not at home during a bushfire. Keep in regular contact with neighbours during the fire danger period to let them know your movements
  • Make sure your pets are microchipped or wearing a collar identification tag. Ensure all contact information is current and include an emergency contact outside your area
  • Keep your Bushfire Relocation Kit for pets within easy reach so you are ready to leave early
  • If you keep your pets with you, confine them early. Pets are safest inside a secure room, on a lead or in carriers
  • Make sure you have wet towels and woollen blankets available to cover and protect your pets
  • Make sure they have plenty of water to drink
  • The National Pet Register provides free identification for cats and dogs
  • A photo of your pet will help identify your pet should it be lost
  • Practice how you will move your pets if you leave. It takes longer than you think

Visit the CFA website for more information about pets and bushfires.