Pre­pare for fire sea­son

Alpine Observer - - Front Page -

COUN­TRY Fire Author­ity chief of­fi­cer Steve War­ring­ton has high­lighted the need to pre­pare prop­er­ties as Vic­to­ria faces an ear­lier, longer, and in some parts more se­vere fire sea­son than nor­mal.

The fire dan­ger pe­riod is fast ap­proach­ing across Vic­to­ria so any burn-offs need to be con­ducted soon and be­fore the win­dow to do so closes.

“Across the state, we are wit­ness­ing low lev­els of rain­fall and a build-up of fuel loads on the ground... these are con­di­tions that could lead to a bad fire sea­son,” Mr War­ring­ton said.

“The best way to de­fend your homes is to pre­pare be­fore the fire dan­ger pe­riod be­gins.

“This in­cludes clean­ing up your gar­dens, your gut­ters and re­mov­ing flammable waste from your yards.

“Many prop­erty own­ers dis­pose of this waste with a burn-off, but con­sider al­ter­na­tive meth­ods such as mulching, chip­ping or tak­ing green waste to a trans­fer sta­tion.

“Res­i­dents who wish to con­duct burn-offs on their pri­vate prop­er­ties need to fol­low some ba­sic rules.

“Check weather con­di­tions, mon­i­tor the wind, and fol­low lo­cal coun­cil laws and reg­u­la­tions.

“Be­fore light­ing up, reg­is­ter your burn-off.

“It is im­por­tant that as well as reg­is­ter­ing your burn-offs, you no­tify your neigh­bours that they may see smoke.

“False alarms take CFA crews away from real emer­gen­cies, can in­crease the risk to the com­mu­nity and can be very frus­trat­ing for our crews, many of whom are vol­un­teers.

“By reg­is­ter­ing your burnoff, any re­ports of smoke or fire will be cross-checked with the burn-off reg­is­ter to avoid un­nec­es­sary re­sponse of fire ser­vices.”

Landown­ers can reg­is­ter their burn-off with the Emer­gency Ser­vices Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Author­ity ( ESTA) by call­ing 1800 668 511 or email­ing burnoffs (esta.vic. gov.au).

PLAN AHEAD: With fire re­stric­tions ex­pected to be in­tro­duced ear­lier than last year au­thor­i­ties are urg­ing com­mu­ni­ties to start get­ting ready for sum­mer.

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