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Fire Hazards - keeping Knox safe

Property inspections & the Bushfire Management Overlay

The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) is a planning control that places tighter regulations on development and use of land with a higher potential of being impacted by extreme bushfires.

This means land and properties within the BMO need a planning permit for certain uses, developments and subdivision, and must adhere to appropriate bushfire protection measures.

To learn more about the BMO visit the DELWP Website.

You can check if your property is affected by the BMO using the State Government’s Planning Maps Online tool – Map Share.

Inspecting properties for bushfire risk

People who own property or vacant land within the BMO are required to meet certain bushfire prevention measures.

Each year, prior to the commencement of the Fire Danger Period, property owners within the BMO will receive a letter reminding them importance of reducing the fire hazard on their property before Fire Restrictions are introduced. Every property within the BMO will be inspected, at least once, upon the introduction of Fire Restrictions to assess fire hazards. If any potential hazards are found, a Fire Prevention Notice is issued which gives the property owner a date by which the hazard must be removed.

Any properties that fail to comply by the deadline will be issued a fine and Council will immediately commence a compulsory clean-up of fire hazards at the expense of the property owner.

Did you know? Ahead of the 2019-20 Fire Danger Period, Council inspected 2,480 properties in the BMO and subsequently issued 43 Fire Prevention Notices. This is 43% fewer notices than the same time last year, thanks to the growing understanding and proactivity of Knox households.

Green area & open space maintenance

On Council-controlled parks, gardens and reserves, we maintain preventative measures such as fire breaks, which are areas of land kept mowed at all times to reduce vegetation and fire fuel.

On a case-by-case basis, we will conduct additional brush cutting within 10 to 30 metres of these fire breaks.

There are also many areas of land within Knox that are owned and maintained by third parties, such as State Government, Melbourne Water, VicRoads and others, which all sustain their own maintenance procedures and schedules. More information on responsibility for roads and maintenance in Knox.

Controlled burns

Controlled burns can be an effective method of clearing potential fire hazards in areas of bush or parkland. However, fire is an unpredictable force and very strict measures must be adhered to in order to conduct controlled burns.

Working with the CFA, we will conduct controlled burns only when it is deemed safe to do so.

This can be impacted by the resources and personnel required to complete the burn safely, and by weather conditions which can change conditions in a matter of seconds.

Each year, there may only be a small number of days that are deemed safe to conduct a controlled burn, and not every area of focus will be able to be completed at any one time.

Information on burning off for Knox residents.

Emergency Management

Knox City Council has a detailed Emergency Management planning framework that centres on collaborative partnerships with agencies, departments, industry, business and all levels of government to reduce the likelihood, effect and consequences of emergencies.

Our approach is outlined in our Knox Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP).

More information on Emergency Management planning.

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