BALLARAT property owners have been put on notice to keep their yards and gardens in order as the region braces for a long, hot fire season.
Ballarat City Fire Brigade senior station officer Neville Collins said warmer weather meant faster grass growth for the region.
“Certainly in spring time you need to be making sure your property is clean of any rubbish and long grass,” he said.
“Particularly in the outer areas of Ballarat, if you’re on a farm or have a vacant block, people need to make sure they’re keeping those areas slashed or mowed.”
Weatherzone meteorologist Ben McBurney said Ballarat was looking at rainfall near or slightly below average in spring and on average for summer.
He said that temperatures would be near or above average during spring, with November colder than October and September.
“We’re looking at a warmer than average summer in general,” Mr McBurney said.
Mr Collins said all suburbs should be wary of areas of overgrowth leading into the warmer months.
“With summer coming along, if we get a lot of rain in the spring the grass will grow a lot faster,” he said.
“I couldn’t pinpoint a spot – everyone needs to make sure they are keeping things tidy around their homes.”
This month, the CFA’s chief officer, Euan Ferguson, said early indications suggested that there would be an “above normal” fire weather risk this season.
“Large areas of southern Australia, especially along the east and west coasts extending inland, face above-normal fire potential for the 2013-2014 fire season, despite the extensive fires in some parts of the country over the last 12 months,” Mr Ferguson said.
“However, the area most at risk does not extend right across the country, as was seen in 2012-2013.”
Mr Ferguson said the above-normal fire season forecast was due to abundant grass growth across inland Australia, due to above-average rainfall since May 2013.
“These conditions, coupled with above-average temperatures across the country since January 2013, have resulted in a build up of fuel in grasslands,” he said.