Melbourne fuelbreak program
Annual grass slashing for fire management vehicle access
When grass in parks throughout Melbourne starts to dry out, our annual fuelbreak slashing program is ready to begin. From late Spring to Summer you may notice slashing works taking place.
Slashing occurs once a year after spring growth when grass has nearly dried out. Sometimes a second cut is required in years when there is a lot of rain and growth rates are high.
We understand our park neighbours have concerns about long grass in parks and reserves managed by Parks Victoria. We often get questions about when this grass will be cut, so we are taking this opportunity to let you know how we manage grass as part of our broader program to reduce bushfire risk to our neighbours.
Many of our park boundaries form a fuelbreak. As the name suggests, fuelbreaks create a break in fuel available to bushfires - for example between trees and shrubs in our park and your property.
Fuelbreaks help firefighters by providing access for vehicles and machinery. Fuelbreaks are not intended to stop the spread of fire, but they can help reduce the intensity and speed of a fire moving across the landscape.
It is important to understand that grass is not cut along fuelbreaks based on grass height, but on its dryness, or ‘curing’. With over 500 kilometres of fuelbreaks across Melbourne to be slashed, we need to carefully time annual slashing to get the best outcome to reduce bushfire risk. Usually, grass is dry enough to slash in late spring or early summer.
For maps showing grass slashing and planned burning programs visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au/bushfire-fuel-and-risk-management/joint-fuel-management-program. Ensure you turn on the ‘mechanical works’ layer on the interactive map.