A bushfire-prone council area in the south-west has been promised state government funding to develop its fire risk reduction program in the lead up to summer.
The Labor state government announced $1.83 million for 10 Victorian municipalities including the Southern Grampians Shire Council to strengthen bushfire preparedness through its Safer Together program.
Safer Together aims to empower local councils and agencies to share knowledge and find solutions to reduce bushfire risk and better prepare residents for bushfire events.
Funding for the council would support its Moments That Matter program which plans to launch education and awareness initiatives, and courses to enable locals to create their own emergency planning.
Southern Grampians Shire Council emergency management officer Anja Johnsen said the program would mitigate severe impact and loss during bushfire events in the south-west region.
"Council will also aim to strengthen relationships with community members and lead organisations like the CFA through collaborative events and activities," she said.
"Funding will assist council to host interactive community education days with schools, sports clubs and community groups to focus on physical fire preparation activities, evacuation, workshops, and to access help."
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Ms Johnsen said the project would begin in Dunkeld and Penshurst before being expanded across the shire.
She said the council was looking for volunteers and community groups in these towns and would provide more information to residents in the coming months.
The Moments That Matter program comes after the announcement of a new fire danger rating system to be rolled out across the country from September 1.
Roadside signs will feature four fire danger levels - moderate, high, extreme and catastrophic - instead of the existing six levels in an effort to offer clearer advice to bushfire-prone communities.
State Environment and Climate Action Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said the funding for such programs was vital given the increased fire danger posed by hotter and drier summers.
"We are living with a changing climate and with an increased bushfire risk - it's critical we work together keep our rural communities safe and reduce that risk," she said.
"These grants provide an opportunity for local communities to be better prepared and develop specific programs that are tailored to local needs."
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