Yarra Ranges Council Fire Slash Program continues

A close-up photo of yellowed tall grass.

Council and contractors are cutting roadside grass to cut back winter growth, as part of its annual Fire Slash program.

The program, which runs every year from October through December, involves cutting grass on more than 800 roads across the Yarra Ranges.

The wet winter and spring over 2021 has resulted in extensive grass growth and wet ground, making access to some roadsides difficult. Council’s Parks and Bushland Team monitor each site for access, organising slashing when the ground conditions permit. Some roads may be cut later than their scheduled time due to unforeseen weather conditions.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Jim Child, said that wet weather since winter had prompted a significant amount of grass growth.

“We’ve had very significant levels of rainfall over winter and early spring, which has left us with extensive grass growth right across Yarra Ranges,” Cr Child said.

“Our teams are continuing their work, moving through the schedule and responding to community requests.

“Drains and road shoulders on rural roads are a particular focus for us – some nature strips and drains will be slashed as part of the program, to ensure sight and safety for drivers, and that drainage remains clear.

“Ahead of the fire season, you’ll see an increase in mowing as you travel through the region. Please be understanding as we continue this work and navigate the difficulties of the wet summer ahead.”

Council’s regular mowing programs in parks, reserves and townships is continuing, ground-conditions-permitting, aiming to be on top of the program early in the new year.

Cr Child encouraged community members to make the most of their green waste bins, local waste transfer stations and their hard waste and bundled branches collections (coming to the region over January-March) to keep properties fire-ready.

“We all have a part to play in preparing for the fire season and minimising the risk of fire spreading,” he said.

“This doesn’t have to be a colossal body of work, though – regularly mowing grass, picking up sticks, branches and leaf litter, mowing your nature strip and keeping a good clear area around your home can all help to reduce the risk of grassfires starting and spreading.

“Visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/fireprep

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