CFA Guide to Property Preparation

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Rob Patrick, Community Safety Co-ordinator for the Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade, has placed some copies of Your Guide to Property Preparation in the box below the CFA Noticeboard at the Post Office.

Rob has asked us to inform Shoreham residents that they are welcome to take a copy.

Alternatively, you can download an on-line version here.

Some residents may also like a Property Advice Visit - if so, please ring Rob on 0408 429 944.

Open Air Burning Regulations - October 2019 only

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The Mornington Peninsula Shire Open Air Burning Local Law regulates burning off outside of the Declared Fire Danger Period.

During the month of October 2019, some open air burning restrictions have been removed to enable landowners to burn off for fire prevention purposes.

I am on land of less than 1,500 square metres, can I burn off?

Yes, Open Air Burning is permitted on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and 4pm provided that:

  • No more than 1 cubic metre of vegetation is burnt at any one time

  • The fire is not within 10 metres of any neighbouring dwelling

  • All the General Fire Safety Provisions are followed.

I am on land of more than 1,500 square metres can I burn off?

Yes, Open Air Burning is permitted on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and 4pm provided that:

  • No more than 10 cubic metres of vegetation is burnt at any one time

  • The fire is not within 10 metres of any neighbouring dwelling

  • All the General Fire Safety Provisions are followed.

I am on land of more than 40,000 square metres can I burn off?

Yes, Open Air Burning is permitted provided that:

  • No more than 100 cubic metres of vegetation is burnt at any one time

  • The fire is not within 100 metres of any neighbouring dwelling

  • All the General Fire Safety Provisions are followed.

What are the General Fire Safety Provisions when I am burning off?

The following provisions must be followed, regardless of land size:

  • Give notice to adjoining landowners/occupiers 24 hours prior to the burn

  • Call at least two hours prior to the burn to log your fire with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority 1800 668 511

  • Establish a fire break of no less than 3 metres cleared of all flammable material

  • Ensure the fire is supervised by an adult at all times

  • Ensure there is sufficient fire protection equipment available on site at all times

  • Ensure the vegetation to be burnt is dead and dry prior to lighting (no green waste)

  • Ensure at the site of the fire, the wind speed does not exceed 20 kilometres per hour.

Still photo taken from the ABC News coverage of the fire

Still photo taken from the ABC News coverage of the fire


  • This fire appeared to start on Thursday, 28 February in pine needles below old Pine trees estimated to be 80+ years old. Aided by a very strong north-easterly wind, the fire spread rapidly along the row of trees, then downhill via long grass and bark into an adjoining Blue Gum plantation. The fire did spot beyond the plantation into an adjoining paddock recently baled for hay. Some round bales caught fire and an area of grass near a bank of solar panels less than 100 metres from the house also burnt, caused by ember attack. The fire had the potential to spread significantly further, as you can see from the maps in the full report.

  • The response was rapid with brigades from Shoreham, Flinders, Red Hill, Balnarring, Main Ridge, Boneo and Somers turning out for initial attack.  At the height of the fire, there were approximately 35 tankers, 3 Bigfills and numerous other support vehicles on-scene. More than sixty vehicles over the first two days from as far afield as the Dandenong ranges, an example of how the CFA Brigades support communities across the state as we in Shoreham have as well , for example out Big Fill attended a large fire at Grantville earlier in February three times. Three Helitack water bombers including two Erickson Skycranes were also on-scene early, using local dams and sea water at Shoreham. The fire was quickly contained and the time consuming task of blacking out, as well as dealing with a few flare-ups, absorbed the next 4 days.

  • The Shoreham Bigfill and Balnarring and Main Ridge Bigfills, 4WD vehicles with demountable water pumps used to extract water from dams, streams, swimming pools and other water sources, refilled tankers over four days on the fire-ground and pumped water directly to hoses around the Pine trees. It is estimated that well in excess of 125000 litres of water were pumped onto the area during this period.

  • Fifteen Shoreham volunteer fire fighters responded at various times, some on multiple occasions, including a call-out at 2.13 am on Sunday morning to deal with a further flare-up. 

  • The Punty Lane fire is regarded as one of the biggest fires the Brigade has confronted in the Shoreham district. Without the quick response and extensive resources applied to the fire the incident had the potential to cause significant damage to the community.

  • It was noted the use of Ultra Light Tankers from other brigades was invaluable. With your assistance, Shoreham is hoping to acquire one as an additional resource for our brigade. An ULT would assist in ensuring that there would always be a fire fighting appliance in Shoreham, if the Brigade is called away to assist others. The cost of one of these will be approximately $170,000 dollars in 2020, the earliest possible build time. We are seeking the Community’s support with this fundraising.

  • The Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade recommends residents and visitors add the Vic Emergency Fire App to their mobile phones.  This App provides information on warnings and Incidents.

  • We have started to raise funds for an Ultra Light Tanker.

    Donations can be made directly to Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade

    • BSB 633000    

    • Acc 121980783

  • Email details to Ralph at for a Tax deductible receipt.

    Or donations can be made by cheque to:

    • Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade

    • C/o Po Box 283, Shoreham


  • We have had a very good start to our fundraising  with substantial donations from the community. Special thanks to Michael Hill , Klara Dawson Grove and Shoreham House, for their large contributions and assistance.

    Regards, Tony Wain

    Captain Shoreham Brigade

    Mob: 0407 557 292

What a century of bushfire data teaches us about how to save lives this summer                                 

A summary of an article on Story Lab  by Catherine Hanrahan 27 December 2018.

What can we learn about saving lives from studying more than a century of bushfires?

A lot — but experts warn too many Australians still do not properly understand the risks and new research suggests nine in 10 Victorians in high risk areas would not follow the prevailing advice to leave early on days of high fire danger.

Most lives have been lost on a few horror days — and in one state

Between 1901 and 2011, 825 people lost their lives in more than 260 bushfires. Of those killed, 92 were firefighters.

More than 80 per cent of the deaths were in January and February, and 61 per cent happened in Victoria.

Majority of deaths from bushfires were in Victoria

Total bushfire fatalities by State between 1901 and 2011

ACT 5        Qld 25          NSW 139             

NT 5           SA 57           VIC 506 

WA 20        TAS 68                                                                        

Most bushfire deaths happened on just 9 days

Civilian fatalities on nine major fire days

14/2/1926  31  VIC                                                         7/2/1967  64 TAS

10/1/1939  19 VIC                                                          8/1/1969  20 VIC

13/1/1939  47 VIC                                                          16/2/1983  27 SA

14/1/1944  35 VIC                                                          16/2/1983  46 VIC

14/2/1944  13 VIC                                                          7/2/2009  173 VIC

Even more strikingly, 65 per cent of all the people killed in bushfires across that 110-year period died on just nine days, including Black Saturday in 2009 when 173 people died in Australia's worst natural disaster. The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission looked at the circumstances of how 173 people died on Black Saturday.  Its analysis found that while most people were aware they were at risk, 24 per cent did not even have a basic awareness they were in danger of bushfires.

Near the bush equals high risk

The closer your home is to the bush, the more at risk you are. The CSIRO's life and loss database analysis of 110 years of deaths in bushfires, found that:

  • 50 per cent of deaths happened within 10 metres of a forest,

  • 78 per cent happened within 30 metres of a forest, and

  • 85 per cent happened within 100 metres of a forest.

The definition of a forest is bushland covering more than 0.2 hectares — that's about the size of four house blocks.

This finding may seem obvious but not everyone is aware of how stark that relationship is.

To read the fill article, please visit: .

Fire Season 2018/2019 - Key Messages

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Shoreham is a "high risk bushfire area"

  • Right now, forecasts show that there is potential for an earlier and longer fire season in Victoria

  • It is time to increase your understanding of the fire risk where you live, prepare your property, and talk to your loved ones about what you’ll do to stay safe from fire

  • Making informed decisions is vital to your safety during a fire. Now is the best time to understand your fire risk and get prepared

  • Talk to your family, friends and neighbours about the fire risk where you live and make plans for what you’ll do on hot, dry, windy days

  • Make sure you know where to check Fire Danger Ratings (Vic Emergency website and app). Over summer, you’ll need to check the ratings daily to understand the fire risk in your area. Remember, as ratings increase, so does your risk of fire

  • It’s up to all of us to stay informed by using more than one source of information, understanding the three levels of warnings, what they mean and what you should do

  • Tune in to ABC local radio, commercial and designated community radio stations or Sky News TV, phone the VicEmergency Hotline (1800 226 226), visit, and download the VicEmergency App. Warnings are also available on VicEmergency's Twitter (@vicemergency) and Facebook (, and CFA’s Twitter (@CFA_Updates) and Facebook (

  • On hot, dry, windy days, fires will start and spread quickly. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to leave early If you live in an urban area near grasslands, walk at least two streets back if a fire starts.

  • If you live two or three streets away from grassland and a grassfire starts, stay where you are. Grassfires are unlikely to spread into built up areas. Don’t drive, visibility may be poor, accidents are likely, and you could block emergency services.

  • In the lead-up to summer, CFA and MFB brigades around the state are getting out and about in their community to talk about preparing for fire season. You can check for information on what’s happening in your local area

  • For more information on how to get prepared for summer, go to,

Planning and preparation messages

  • Taking steps to get prepared before the fire season means you know what to do when you’re at risk . It’s important to prepare your property for fire, but you also need to plan and prepare for your safety. Pack important documents, photos, medications, money and clothes so you can leave easily before a fire starts

  • Understand your risk and plan ahead. Know what to do on hot, dry, windy days and plan for all situations. Talk to your family and friends about how you’ll know when to leave, where you’ll go and how you’ll get there

  • Do you have family, friends or neighbours who may need help preparing for fires? Talk to them about when they will leave, where they will go and how you can help

  • Have a plan, make sure your family knows it, and stick to it, don’t hesitate when it’s time to leave. You could get trapped by fire if you leave too late

  • Plan for all scenarios – what will you do if your car won’t start, the wind changes direction, roads are blocked, someone is hurt or people aren’t where you expect them to be?

  • When planning with kids, make sure you know your local school policy for fire risk days. Some schools close on Code Red days, it’s important to know so you can plan for all situations.

  • You could be at serious risk of uncontrollable fires on Severe, Extreme and Code Red days. It’s up to each of us to stay informed. Check the Fire Danger Ratings daily and act to protect yourself and your family

  • Prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Early action can prevent fires threatening lives and property. If you see smoke or fire, call Triple Zero (‘000’) immediately. If you see something suspicious, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

  • Preparing your property means you minimise the chance of property damage during a fire, even if you plan to leave early

  • Keep trees, overhanging branches and shrubs to a minimum near your home, particularly around and under windows. A big clean up before the fire season can make a huge difference to the safety and survival of your home in a bushfire

  • Embers are one of the most common causes of homes burning down during a bushfire, even if the fire front doesn’t reach the property. Check where leaves and twigs gather around your home as this is where embers are likely to fall. Keep these areas clear all summer

  • Before you leave, make sure you remove all flammable items from around your home. Houses have been lost from things as simple as embers landing on a doormat

  • Keep leaf litter, shrubs and any other fuels to a minimum under trees on your property. This will help to stop a fire from reaching the tree tops, which will reduce embers and the fire intensity near your home

  • Defending your home requires at least two fit adults, at least 10,000 litres of water, protective clothing, and appropriate firefighting hoses and pumps. Most homes in high risk bushfire areas are not defendable on Code Red days. Defending your home is very risky – you could lose your life or be seriously injured

  • For information on how to stay safe this summer, visit, or ring the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 Check that your home and contents insurance is current and includes a level of cover in line with current building standards and regulations. Changes in those building standards and regulations mean that replacement homes must be built to better withstand natural disasters, which can add to the cost of rebuilding.

Further information available at Shoreham

  • The Shire's brochure is available in the Post Office,

  • The CFA's education trailer at the Shoreham Community BBQ.

  • You can talk to firefighters at the fire station 9-10 on Sundays.

You can download the material above as a PDF document.

Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade - Current Roles (2018/2019)

The Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade has been operational since 1949.  

Biennial Elections were conducted on 14/6/2018 - members were nominated and elected to the following key roles: 

  • Captain - Tony WAIN (Re-elected)

  • 1st. Lieutenant - Alan MACHIN (Re-elected)

  • 2nd. Lieutenant - Rob. PATRICK

  • 3rd. Lieutenant - Dani HULYER

  • Training Co-ordinator- Alan MACHIN

  • Equipment/Asset Officer - Mike WILDING (Re-elected)

  • Communications Officer - Sue WILDING (Re-elected)

  • Community Safety Co-ordinator - Rob. PATRICK (Re-elected)

  • Health & Safety Officer - Dani HULYER (Re-elected)

  • Secretary/Treasurer - Ralph GRUNDL ***

  • Minute Secretary - Sue WILDING

  • Group Delegate - Tony WAIN

  • VFBV Delegate - Sue WILDING

  • President - Brian ALCOCK (Re-elected)

***    John Lorkin, a well known community member, has been a member of the Brigade for almost 20 years during which he has held the important roles of either Secretary or Secretary / Treasurer.   John did not seek re-election on this occasion.  His commitment and dedication to the Brigade’s operations during the 20 years, in the above roles in particular, has been outstanding.

Invitation to join the Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade

The Brigade is seeking 4 – 6 new firefighters, male or female.

The Brigade needs active firefighters in the 30 – 45 age group.

This important addition would assist greatly to correct the current age imbalance with an increasing number in the 60+ age group.  At present, there is a serious problem looking to the near future about our effective operational viability to respond to fires to protect community members and their properties.

Any interested community members in the above age group are most welcome to contact:

  • Tony Wain on 0407 557 292, Rob Patrick on 0408 429 944 or John Lorkin on 0490 519 001.

Alternatively they would be most welcome to visit the Station on any Sunday between 9 and 10am to discuss the requirements of volunteering and to inspect the station.

Community use of the fire station

In 2017/8, the fire station was the venue for

  • a wedding

  • a 40th birthday party

  • SCA committee meetings

  • SCA’s “Morning Cuppa”

  • SCA-sponsored Tai Chi classes

  • Shoreham-Flinders Bee Group meetings

  • a carers group meetings.

Community members are welcome to use the Station facilities.  Contact Rob Patrick on 0408 429 944.  Brigade approval must be obtained and some conditions apply, notably the need to arrange Public Liability Insurance.  Please allow at least a month beforehand.

Contact details

In an emergency call 000 (zero, zero, zero)

For written correspondence and donations please contact:

The Secretary,
Shoreham Rural Fire Brigade,
PO Box 283,
Shoreham VIC 3916

For telephone contact please ring 0490 519 001

What Number Are You? ...and how would anyone else know?

You call the CFA or other emergency service, give your street and house number, but valuable time is wasted if your house does not have a clearly visible house number. The CFA requires all residents to put their house number on their house or fence for identification.

CFA Fire Ready Kit and FireReady app

The Fire Ready Kit has been designed to help you understand your risk, prepare your property and develop a bushfire plan. It can be downloaded at

You can find information about the CFA's FireReady app and how to download it here.

Photo gallery

The photo gallery at right shows some interesting photographs highlighting our work in recent years.