Fire restrictions

The Declared Fire Danger Period for Horsham North will commence at 0100 hours on Monday 5 December 2022.

The Declared Fire Danger Period for Horsham South will commence at 0100 hours on Monday 5 December 2022.

See maps below: 

During the CFA Declared Fire Danger Period, burning off in the open air, other than for cooking purposes or warmth/comfort is prohibited.  During a day of Total Fire Ban no fires can be lit. A zero tolerance approach is taken to the deliberate or reckless lighting of fires during the Declared Fire Danger Period and serious fines apply for breaches of these regulations. 

All inquiries relating to fire prevention can be directed to the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on (03) 5382 9777.

Know your Fire Weather District

Horsham Rural City Council falls within the Wimmera Fire Weather District.

For further information and to download a fire district map and municipality list visit the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website.

Property inspections and fire prevention notices

Prior to the summer fire danger period, Municipal Fire Prevention Officers conduct inspections of properties throughout the municipality. Owners of properties where Fire Prevention works are required, will be contacted by letter seeking their co-operation in ensuring that their property does not present a fire hazard to adjoining properties.  Additional compliance processes are available to Council if required.

To report a property as a potential fire hazard, please complete and submit a customer request or contact Council on (03) 5382 9777.

Wartook fire ready guide

The Wimmera Emergency Management Team has developed a fire ready guide for the Wartook area which has an extreme bushfire risk because it's located in a valley surrounded by State and National Parks. Use this guide to help you and your family plan and prepare.

Wartook Fire Ready Guide

Bushfire planning and preparing on your property

The CFA has various amounts of information, checklists, templates and flyers on their website to help you better plan for fire in and around your home. These can be viewed at the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website

Every landowner has a responsibility to ensure they take necessary steps in reducing the risk of bushfire on their property and to reduce the risk of injury or damage to other persons or property.

The Horsham Planning Scheme provides for bushfire regulation in the municipality, along with a range of local and state legislation. Property owners should be aware of their requirements under the law. If your property/dwelling falls within a Bushfire Management Overlay, the planning provisions allow for a range of approved measures for bushfire protection. This includes allowances for creating defendable space (i.e. removal of vegetation under specified clearance rules).

Bushfire protection can also be achieved through other means, such as the way you site and construct your dwelling, the way adjoining land is managed and the level of access to water supply and roads.

Think before you remove! If you are not sure about what your legal requirements are, please contact the Council’s Planning Department on (03) 5382 9777.

If you believe that trees or vegetation need better management on Council owned land, please complete and submit a customer request or contact Council on (03) 5382 9777.

Neighbourhood Safer Places

A Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is not a community fire refuge or emergency relief centre. NSPs are places of last resort during the passage of a bushfire, and are intended to be used by persons whose primary bushfire plans have failed.

NSPs are places of relative safety only. They do not guarantee the survival of those who assemble there. There may also be serious risks to safety encountered in travelling to NSPs during a bushfire.

Depending on the position and direction of a bushfire, a designated NSP may not be safer than other locations within the area.

The following are designated places of last resort within the Horsham Municipality:

The location names link to a download about the site and the addresses link to a map view of that NSP (map will open in new window)

Sawyer Park, Corner Hocking Street and Firebrace Street, Horsham

Laharum Football Oval, Northern Grampians Road, Laharum

Natimuk Showgrounds Recreation Reserve, Corner Mitchell Street and Jory Street, Natimuk

For further information on NSP's please visit the CFA Website

Bushfire planning by Council

Council is responsible for the preparation of a Municipal Fire Management Plan which identifies actions and responsibilities for various agencies including Council in the management of fire risk within the municipality. A flyer has been developed about our role in fire prevention(PDF, 526KB)

Council adopted the latest version of the Horsham Rural City Council Municipal Fire Management Plan(PDF, 2MB) at its meeting on 4 December 2017. 

The preparation of the plan is overseen by the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC) which has representatives of the key agencies responsible for fire management within the Council including the CFA and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). The key emphasis within the plan concerns the threat posed from bushfire.

One of the actions identified for Council is the slashing of key roadsides and other areas to assist in mitigating the risks associated with bushfire. VicRoads also assists by undertaking similar slashing works on all of its highways throughout the municipality.

Council’s Municipal Fire Prevention Officers also inspect residential properties across the Council throughout the fire season and Fire Prevention Notices are issued to residents where fuel reduction works such as mowing and spraying are required.

DELWP are responsible for bushfire mitigation works on public land within the municipality.  

Roadside slashing program

Fire readiness is a high priority for Horsham Rural City Council. Roadside slashing forms part of a range of fire prevention activities which are undertaken in consultation with the CFA and are guided by Council’s Municipal Fire Management Plan.

Roadside slashing by Council is undertaken September - December each year, depending on weather conditions.

VicRoads undertakes slashing on roadsides for which they are responsible, during the same period.

For further information please contact Council's Municipal Fire Prevention Officer on (03) 5382 9777.

Essential water replacement

The Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (s30 and s32) provides powers to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to take water from any waterway or any other water supply on public and private land for firefighting purposes. 

The Essential Water Replacement Scheme was put in place for the replacement of essential water used during bushfire operations by Victoria’s fire agencies.  

In the event of fire, regardless of where it starts, if water needed for essential use is taken from domestic tanks and stock or irrigation dams for fire fighting purposes, it will be replaced (same quantity as taken) when requested by the Landholder.   

Essential water is defined as Water required to sustain:

  • the health of affected residents and pets
  • the health and productivity of their stock
  • agricultural and horticultural crops, permanent plantings and intensive industries.

If you believe essential water needs replacing on your property, please submit an essential water replacement claim form.

Copy of the essential water replacement form(DOCX, 52KB) or visit the DELWP website.

Permit to burn grass and stubble


The CFA, Fire Rescue Victoria and Forest Fire Mangement Victoria have joined forces to create a one-stop-shop for all fire permit applications.

The new Fire Permits Victoria website allows people to submit and manage fire permit applications in a more streamlined process during the fire season, and for Total Fire Ban days that fall outside of the Declared Fire Ban Period.

It also includes permits to burn stubble, which HRCC no longer issues. 

Fire Permits Victoria