Drier conditions

Macedon Ranges residents are being urged to prepare for an increased likelihood of warmer and drier conditions over summer, as the Fire Danger Period began yesterday. 

The Country Fire Authority has declared the Fire Danger Period for the Macedon Ranges began from 1am on November 27 and will end on May 1 (unless otherwise advised). No fires can be lit in the open air without a permit during this period. 

Macedon Ranges Shire Council CEO, Bernie O’Sullivan, said the Bureau of Meteorology’s declaration of two key weather events – El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole – meant an increased risk this fire season. 

“There are a range of useful resources available to help you prepare for the upcoming fire season, including the CFA and council websites,” he said. 

The council’s roadside slashing program began in November and will continue throughout December, prioritising high-use roads and working within strict guidelines to complete these works safely. An annual program to slash council-owned land and reserves across the shire is also well under way. 

Regional Roads Victoria undertakes its own program to maintain state-managed roadsides. Additionally, council’s municipal fire prevention officers are conducting private property inspections across the shire to check for fire hazards, issue fire prevention Notices where appropriate and work with landowners to reduce risks. 

Residents are reminded of the importance of being prepared for fires, and to ensure their properties are maintained to minimise flammable fuels including stockpiles of green waste and foliage in gutters. Free green waste disposal is available for ratepayers and tenants at the council’s transfer stations in Kyneton, Romsey and Woodend.