Murrindindi Shire Council urges residents to plan ahead for this coming fire season.
Last week the Victorian Government launched Fire Action Week, kicking off its annual fire awareness campaign in partnership with emergency services.
Shire Mayor Charlie Bisset said the long term outlook for this summer was for drier and warmer conditions, and current forecasts suggested an early start to an above average fire season.
“Nearly half of our Shire is native forest. While this is of course one of the things that makes the area so attractive, I can’t emphasise strongly enough the importance of ensuring you’re properly prepared for bushfire season,” Cr Bisset said.
“As most of us are only too aware, taking the right steps now to prepare will help make our decisions in an emergency easier and clearer.”
Cr Bisset said some simple planning and preparation tips to ensure readiness for fire season include:
- Make a plan…..work out what you’ll do in the event of a fire and discuss this with your family, and write your plan down.
- Make sure you have a written/printed copy of your fire plan ready and put it on the fridge or a location known by all household members.
- Keep grass short. Fire can travel quickly through long grass.
- Get rid of dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark around your home.
- Remove or prune shrubs near windows and under branches of mature trees.
- Keep gutters and roof areas clear of leaf litter (if you are physically able to – if not, consider hiring a handy-person to assist you).
- Remove all loose materials that could burn around the outside of your home, such as boxes, furniture and woodpiles.
- Be prepared for power failure in extreme weather conditions. Read the Power Outage Guide to learn more (http://bit.ly/2zfBrFc).
“I’d encourage everyone to stay informed by using a range of information channels. Fires can start quickly and people need to understand where they can obtain the necessary information to put their fire plan into action,” added Cr Bisset.
- Tune in to ABC radio or UGFM for information on emergencies – both are endorsed emergency broadcasters
- Watch Sky News TV or ABC Television
- Phone the VicEmergency Hotline (1800 226 226)
- Visit emergency.vic.gov.au, and download the VicEmergency App. Warnings are also available on VicEmergency’s Twitter (@vicemergency) and Facebook accounts (facebook.com/vicemergency)
- CFA’s Twitter (@CFA_Updates) and Facebook (facebook.com/cfavic)
“It’s also vital to understand the three fire warning levels and what they mean – ‘Advice’; ‘Watch and Act’ and ‘Emergency Warning’,” Cr Bisset said. “Also remember they are not necessarily issued in any order – the first warning you hear could be an Emergency Warning.”
For more information on how to get prepared, visit the emergency.vic.gov.au website.