Overgrown vegetation in the Worm Bay area is a disaster waiting to happen, according to a group of concerned residents.
Barbro Terrace resident Andy Finlay said the vegetation was as tall as 15 metres in some spots and was very close to properties and the adjoining caravan park.
"Our paramount concern is the safety of the people in the caravan park as well as Deep Blue and Lady Bay," Mr Finlay said.
"Obviously there's property concerns too and we've sadly seen the devastation of the fires in south east NSW, Gippsland and also Kangaroo Island."
Mr Finlay said residents did not want the vegetation removed, just better managed. "No one is suggesting for it to be removed," he said.
"But when it encroaches demonstrably onto the back of properties without any set back then clearly it's a major problem."
Mr Finlay said he believed there had not been any hazard reduction work done in the area for more than 10 years. He said he believed the central area in the Worm Bay loop could be cleared to allow for car parking.
Max Taylor also has safety concerns about the overgrowth.
He said he raised the issue with a member of the Warrnambool Fire Brigade.
Mr Taylor said he was told that the brigade could respond in less than five minutes, but he fears this may be longer now that the brigade has relocated to Mortlake Road.
The residents also believe access to Pertobe Road could be difficult on busy summer days. "There's a natural disaster just waiting to happen down here," Mr Taylor said.
Warrnambool City councillor Peter Hulin said something needed to be done urgently to address the fire hazard.
"What we find really disappointing as councillors is the way they were dismissed by the council," Cr Hulin said.
"They were told to 'go away, it's all fine'.
"The reality is it's not fine and it's not just this area. There are other areas that are the same and people's concerns are just dismissed."
Cr Hulin said recent events had showed how quickly fires could spread.
A Warrnambool City Council spokesman said the council's municipal fire prevention officer and the CFA recently conducted a site inspection.
"Although the CFA advised that the vegetation presented a manageable risk, council will investigate creating a small buffer between the vegetation and the fence line," he said.
"Council is mindful of the provisions which protect native vegetation and will need to work with DELWP to ensure compliance with laws governing vegetation removal on Crown Land."
The spokesman said the council had not received a proposal to remove vegetation around Worm Bay.
"If members of the community are interested in this as a project for council to consider we would encourage them to make a submission when the 2020-2021 budget is being prepared," he said.
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