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Mow and slash long grass now: RFS

Eurobodalla Council has partnered with the Rural Fire Service to urge residents and landowners to mow or slash long grass – especially on vacant blocks – to help reduce the risk of summer grass fires.

Higher than average spring rainfall resulted in rapid grass growth across the shire but it will quickly brown off as hot days increase, creating an increased fire risk.

Rural Fire Service Far South Coast manager, Superintendent John Cullen, said grass fires could start easily and spread quickly.

“Grass fires pose a significant risk this fire season, so please make sure you have a cleared around your home or vacant blocks,” he said.

“As the summer progresses it might become too risky to use slashers. You need to prepare well beforehand as leaving it to the last minute is too late.

“It only takes two days of hot, dry and windy weather to cure grass. Make sure you manage your property so you don’t become a fire risk to your community.”

The RFS advises five simple steps to prepare a property for bushfires:

1. Trim overhanging trees and shrubs to stop the spread of fire.

2. Mow grass and remove the cuttings, have a cleared area around your home.

3. Remove material that can burn, like wood piles and furniture.

4. Clear debris from your gutters to stop embers causing a fire.

5. Prepare a sturdy hose or hoses that can reach around your home and make sure you’ve got a reliable source of water.

Mr Cullen also urged residents to make a bushfire survival plan.

“Plan what you will do if there’s a bush or grass fire near you, please discuss with your family what your actions will be, and stay informed,” he said.

Council will be targeting non-resident ratepayers so they’re reminded of their responsibilities, too. Eurobodalla Council’s LEMO Warren Sharpe urged the community – including non-resident ratepayers – to work together.

“Planning and being prepared for disasters is a shared responsibility and we can all help,” he said.

“We already know there is a heightened level of anxiety within our community following last year’s summer. If we all prepare our properties well, especially vacant blocks, this will reduce help reduce the fire risk and help the mental wellbeing of our community.

“Chatting with our neighbours about our bushfire survival plans, especially the elderly, is also a great thing to do, so we can be ready help each other in times of need.”

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Above: Higher than average spring rainfall resulted in rapid grass growth across the shire but it will quickly brown off as hot days increase, creating an increased fire risk. Eurobodalla Council and the RFS is urging the community and non-resident ratepayers to mow and slash long grass while it is still green.

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