Mayor urges residents to get fire ready

Mayor Cr Nino Mautone is urging residents to use Fire Action Week 2010, a state-wide initiative held from 10-17 October, to help prepare for the upcoming fire season.

“With just a matter of weeks until the next fire season, there is no time for delay. All of Victoria is at risk of fire, including communities living near bush, paddocks, grassland and parks.” Cr Mautone said.

“While it’s hard to believe the new fire season is almost here after the recent rainfall, it’s actually increased the vegetation growth and it’s vital that all residents start planning and preparing now.

“Council is working in partnership with the Victorian Government and the fire agencies to make the Alpine Shire fire ready.

“You don’t have to be living in a fire prone area to be affected by fire this summer, and it’s vital that everyone takes time to consider their individual fire risk. Victoria is one of the top three most fire-prone places in the world.

“Fire Action Week 2010 serves as a timely reminder of the need to work together – with your family, your neighbours and community – to be as fire-safe and as fire-ready as possible.

“Council recognises the need to plan and prepare to meet local needs, make our communities safer and help protect human life.”

Some ways that Council has been preparing for fire season include

  • Issuing of fire prevention notices
  • Roadside inspection and clearance program
  • Development of township protection plans for Bright, Wandiligong, Bogong and Porepunkah
  • Establishing 11 neighbourhood safer places at seven locations
  • Budgeted for an extra fire prevention officer this fire season
  • Supportying CFA fuel reduction burns on Council roadsides

“If you’re travelling in Victoria over the summer period, you should also have a plan for what you will do if a fire starts near your holiday destination,” he said..

For Fire Action Week, Council will be urging all residents and businesses to:

  • Take the time to understand the risks that relate to your specific situation
  • Know and plan when you will leave, where you will go, and what you will take with you
  • Complete fire prevention works around your home or business.

A full list of Fire Action Week events is available at www.cfa.vic.gov.au and people are encouraged to have a look at what’s happening near them.

Cr Mautone said that all community members have a major role in the fire preparation effort, no matter where they live.

“While your plan should always be to leave before a bushfire threatens, preparing your home now will give it the best chance of surviving,” he said.

Ways that residents can get their property ready for the fire season include:

  • Cut the grass and reduce ‘fine fuels’ – such as long, dry grass, fallen leaves and twigs
  • Clear leaves out of gutters, dead undergrowth, fallen branches, and wood piles away from the house
  • Ensure homes, sheds and garages are free from overhanging branches
  • Actively seeking advice about other actions recommended by the CFA or the MFB
  • Ensure access to adequate water supplies, such as tanks, dams, swimming pools or water reserves
  • Make firescreens to go over windows to prevent the glass from cracking in radiant heat, and
  • Install a sprinkler system around the home and gather appropriate fire fighting equipment.

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