WITH forecasts suggesting the fire season could start as early as October, the CFA is encouraging locals to kick off fire season preparations.
CFA District 18 operations manager John Bigham is warning the community not to be complacent when it comes to the coming summer season and to get prepared early.
“Out of control burn-offs and unregistered burn-offs have been a major headache for brigades this year,” he said.
“Just because the Fire Danger Period is yet to start doesn’t mean it’s safe to burn off. You should avoid burning off when high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn, but for the days afterwards.”
This fire season CFA will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to any fires resulting from negligent behaviour.
“You don’t have to live in the country to be at risk of fire,” he said.
“If you live near areas that have significant bush, forest or long grass then you need to plan ahead for the fire season.
“Now is the time to make sure you are prepared for summer and that you know what you and your family will do on high fire-risk days.
“Preparing your property early means you minimise the chance of property damage during a fire, even if you are planning to leave early.
“Get the family together and organise a big clean up around your home.
“Keep trees, overhanging branches and shrubs to a minimum near your home, particularly around and under windows.
“While CFA does everything it can, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.”
For more information on preparing your property visit cfa.vic.gov.au.
Before the fire season:
Prepare your home —
■ Shift furniture, woodpiles and mulch away from windows, decks and eaves
■ Prune tree branches so they are not overhanging the roof or touching walls
■ Keep grass less than 10cm. Regularly remove leaves and twigs
■ Don’t have plants higher than 10cm in front of windows or glass doors.
Have a fire plan —
■ Decide which Fire Danger Rating is your trigger to leave
■ Decide where you will go and what you’ll do with your pets
■ Create an emergency kit so you are ready to leave quickly and calmly
■ Know how you will monitor for warnings and do this regularly on hot, windy days.