Slashing Long Grass in Hot Conditions

Published on Monday, 9 December 2019 at 12:03:26 PM

Throughout the recent property inspections for firebreaks and asset protection zones, the main question residents have been asking is about slashing long grass.

We've already been experiencing 40 plus degree days, preventing most people from being able to slash due to the high risk of ignition. So when is the best time to slash or mow long grass?

Although they are few and far between, choose a cooler day and identify which time is the coolest (early morning or late afternoon). The most important aspect to check in the forecast is that there will be little to no wind at the time you expect to slash or mow, higher humidity also assists in reducing the risk. All it takes during these tinder dry months is for your equipment to hit a rock to create a spark and therefore accidental ignition. Wind is the main reason grass fires escape and spread rapidly so extra precautions should always be taken.

Always ensure that you have a water source readily available and be prepared to react quickly to extinguish a fire should it start. Any fire should be extinguished completely, taking extra care to ensure the area is cold and soaked through to bare earth, as one small hot spot can easily reignite and quickly turn into a major fire.

Check that there are no bans in place. During a Total Fire Ban, you cannot use any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine (this includes mowers, whipper snippers, leaf blowers etc.). The Shire can send you a text should a Total Fire Ban and/or a Harvest & Vehicle Movement Ban be announced for the day - you can sign up by clicking here.

To summarise: Slashing of long grasses should only be undertaken during the cooler times of the day with little to no wind and higher humidity, fire fighting equipment should be on hand to quickly extinguish an ignition.

If a grass fire ignites and escapes, call 000 immediately for a prompt response from local emergency services.

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