Final plea to clear fuel in bushfire zones

​South Australian councils have appealed to property owners in bushfire prone areas to ensure their blocks are cleared - a call backed by SA's Country Fire Service.

LGA President Mayor Dave Burgess said people should have now removed all flammable hazards from their land, otherwise risk footing the bill for their local council to clean-up on their behalf.

"So far in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges fire ban district, Councils have inspected 22,000 properties and issued 2524 clearance notices - many have progressed to Council clearing the land and owners billed for the costs and expiations are already being issued."

Councils are legally required to advise owners of the need to clear their land, before starting further proceedings.

“If the owner has not complied with a clearance order the cost can range between $50 and $595 depending on the extent of the clearing required and expiation notices of $315 can also be issued.”

CFS Chief Officer Greg Nettleton said the devastating Pinery Bushfire was a striking example of how rapidly a fire could spread in cropped areas.

"Every bushfire is different but we remain concerned that in many areas such as the Adelaide Hills, people could do a lot more to protect their property by clearing blocks of fuel loads," he said, "and they could not get a clearer warning to do so given the devastation that’s already occurred so early in the season."

Both Mr Nettleton and Mayor Burgess stressed property owners should be pro-active about their responsibilities and not wait for Councils to enforce any required clearing.

This includes making sure fuel loads such as grass and tree trimmings are removed from blocks and in more rural areas, a 20-metre perimeter cleared around valuable buildings.

 “Many houses that burn down in a bushfire are ignited from an ember attack and therefore it is very important to remove the fuel from around homes and buildings to reduce the likelihood of ignition,” said Mr Nettleton.

Fire prevention is an ongoing program for Councils, although work to mitigate potential fire hazards intensifies as summer approaches.

Click here to view the CFS videos about block clearance.

source Local Government Association

Block clearance