Fire prevention progress

Mitchell Shire Council in Victoria has partnered with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to ensure local fire brigades have access to enough water. 

Water to fill 10 fire tankers is now available to local fire brigades in the region, after the recent construction of two new water storage tanks.

CFA District 12 Operations Manager, Rob Van Dorsser said, “The nearest existing tanks are located approximately five kilometres away and these tanks will provide an additional firefighting water source to the northern side of Waterford Park, properties along San Mateo Court and Spur Road, as well as to the foothills of the State Forest”.

CFA Water storage tanks are critical for fire response and community safety, both during the bushfire season and as a reliable water source for structure fires year round.

Mitchell Shire Council Mayor and Chair of the Shire’s Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee, Councillor Sue Marstaeller, said the project was a high priority because access to a secure water supply for fire brigades was problematic due to terrain, unreliable rain fall, difficult access to dams and decreasing water levels in local bores.

“When you think about how quickly fires escalate, the two tanks each holding 20,000 litres of water will mean local brigades are able to respond quicker by reducing the time spent travelling away from the fire to access water supplies.”

The project was jointly funded by Mitchell Shire Council and the CFA through the Fire Access Road Subsidy Scheme (FARSS).

The Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee identified the tanks as one of the top five projects put forward from local brigades for Fire Access Road Subsidy Scheme (FARSS) funding last year.

Mayor Marstaeller said, “Both the committee and local brigades are very pleased that we were successful in obtaining the grant, due to the importance of this project and given the limited money available for the whole state.

“The Council and Committee are also extremely pleased with the community’s efforts to reduce fuel on their properties this year.  

“Officers have reported a 37 percent reduction in Fire Prevention Notices being issued when compared to last year and a 54 percent reduction since 2013-14. There was also a 67 percent reduction in infringements issued last year and 75 percent reduction since 2013-14.”