VICTORIANS are being urged to prepare their homes for the upcoming fire season as preparation advice by the Country Fire Authority started circulating last week.
With a large amount of rainfall forecast between now and the end of the year, the fire season has the potential to be a grassfire-dominated season with shorter-duration fires in grass, and dry forest during hotter and windier days.
CFA acting chief officer Garry Cook said any bushfire season in Victoria had the potential to be detrimental and warned Victorians against complacency.
“Preparing your property means you minimise the chance of property damage during a fire, even if you plan to leave early,” he said.
“Keep trees, overhanging branches, and shrubs to a minimum near your home and keep grass shorter than 10 centimetres.
“Move your winter wood pile away from the house and clear debris from gutters.
“A big clean-up before the fire season can make a huge difference to the safety and survival of your home in a bushfire.
“You also need to plan and prepare for your personal safety by understanding your risk and having a fire plan.
“Plan for all situations by talking to your family and friends about your triggers to leave, where you’ll go and how you’ll get there.
“Get into the habit of checking Fire Danger Ratings on the VicEmergency website or app daily to understand the fire risk in your area.
“It’s up to all of us to stay informed by using more than one source of information, understanding the three levels of warnings, what they mean and what you should do.”
Leading up to summer, CFA will host online Fire Safety Essentials sessions to help Victorians understand their fire risk and help them prepare.
For more information on bushfire planning and preparation, visit cfa.vic.gov.au.
Preparing your property can minimise damage, even if you leave early:
- Move 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 shorter than 10cm. Regularly remove leaves and twigs
- Don’t have plants higher than 10cm in front of windows or glass doors
- Before you leave, make sure you remove all flammable items from around your home
- Houses have been lost from things as simple as embers landing on a doormat
- Check that your home and contents insurance is current and includes a level of cover in line with current building standards and regulations
- Remember restrictions are in place across Victoria due to COVID-19, which may mean you require a permit to travel regionally and prepare one of your properties