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Posted on 13/12/2019 by

Bass Coast gets Fire Ready
Bass Coast’s Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC) has been working hard to prepare for the summer bushfire season. The committee has developed the Municipal Fire Management Plan, which identifies different levels of bushfire risk for different localities, and identifies how to reduce the risk.
The committee includes Country Fire Authority (CFA), Victoria Police, Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management Victoria (DELWP), Phillip Island Nature Parks (PINP), Bass Coast Shire
Council and VicRoads. These agencies work together with Ausnet Services, Westernport Water and South Gippsland Water to plan for potential bushfire emergencies in Bass Coast.

In preparation for the upcoming fire season, Phillip Island Nature Parks Rangers have identified a range of fire management priorities, such as visitor and community safety, protection of life and property and the protection of wildlife habitat such as the little penguin and short-tailed shearwater colonies, and koala habitat.

“Our primary prevention activities include vegetation management, slashing of strategic fuel breaks near residential areas, along with Ranger patrols and education,” said Phillip Island
Nature Parks Senior Ranger Stefan Poll.

“We are also ensuring our firefighting vehicles are appropriately fitted out and fully prepared to conduct first attacks on fires, in the event of an incident.” Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, explained that Council has identified where and how to reduce fire risk across Bass Coast.
“Council’s road network has been slashed prior to the fire declaration period to control vegetation growth. This is an ongoing program during the spring and summer months, which helps reduce roadside fuels and limit the likelihood of ignitions caused by hot vehicle parts,” Cr Tessari said.

Bass Coast Shire also maintains a number of Fire Access Tracks and Static Water tanks that are checked during the lead-in to summer to ensure their availability for fire agencies. Parks Victoria’s Gerard Delaney explained that due to the early season fires in East Gippsland and the underlying dryness, fire preparedness works have commenced slightly earlier than usual across the Bass Coast Shire areas managed by Parks Victoria.

“Fire protection slashing in various reserves around the Wonthaggi township area has been completed and the remaining works in the outlying reserves throughout the district will be
finished prior to Christmas,” Mr Delaney said.

“Any potential fire hazard concerns relating to public land in your area can be directed to the Parks Victoria Information Line on 131 963.” Victoria Police Senior Sargent, Andy O’Brien said that the Police will be conducting targeted patrols during the Fire Danger Period. Anyone detected lighting fires during the Fire Danger Period will be prosecuted. Anyone who sees anything suspicious is encouraged to contact Police on 000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
CFA Community Safety will be delivering a number of community education activities in Bass Coast during the 2019/20 summer, including two Fire Ready Victoria community information sessions on 28 December.
Cape Paterson hosts the first session at 8am on 28 December on Surf Beach Road outside the Cape Tavern, followed by an evening session at Cottosloe Ave in Cape Woolamai, starting with a free BBQ at 6pm.

Media Enquiries:
Roland Pick – Communications Executive
Tel: +613 5951 2825 Mobile: 0418 402 161 Email: rpick@penguins.org.au
Image Captions: (L-R)
Members of Bass Coast’s Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC)
Corin Spencer (BCSC), Tim Bessell-Brown (Parks Vic), Stefan Poll (PINP), James Bremner
(BCSC), Andy O’Brien (VicPol), Andrew Judd (CFA), Brian Martin (Parks Vic)