Prepare for summer with blaze strategy
Bushfires can start without warning and escalate quickly, highlighting the need for all people to be prepared.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advises everyone to prepare themselves, their families and homes so the big decisions can be made well before bushfires strike.
Before summer approaches, reduce vegetation, rubbish and anything flammable for at least 20m around your home and other buildings. Other points to consider include: Prepare your gardens by cutting long grass and dense scrub. Remove leaf litter, rubbish, twigs and bark.
Buildings and tree branches should have a minimum 2m gap between them. Ensure no trees are overhanging to buildings.
Stop a fire on the ground spreading to the tree canopy by pruning lower branches.
Create a firebreak out of mineral earth, with no vegetable along the boundary.
Ensure firewood is not stored near any buildings.
Ensure gas bottles are positioned so they vent away from any houses or buildings in case they are subject to radiant heat or flame contact.
Another factor to consider during bushfires is water and power are often lost, particularly on rural properties.
Mains water pressure may drop or fail, and in order to effectively defend against fires — if the situation is suitable to do so — an independent water supply might be necessary.
A 20,000-litre capacity steel or concrete tank would be sufficient for most properties and a generator to pump the water supply might be needed.
A capacity of more than 1.5kVA is advised to drive a home pressure, or petrol/diesel firefighting pump.
Pets and livestock will also need protection from bushfires, so it’s important to ensure water, shade and a safe place to stay are available.
Allow plenty of time to relocate livestock, and if possible, move bigger animals to paddocks with little vegetation.
As part of bushfire preparation, consider slashing a paddock to create a safer area.
Generally, animals are not permitted at relocation sites, so think in advance about what you will do with them in the event of an emergency.
There are many factors to consider in the lead-up to summer and it is important for everyone to take the reins and ensure they are prepared for bushfires.
The department has a range of resources, including a toolkit to help in the preparation of a bushfire plan, at dfes.wa.gov.au.
With summer fast approaching, people are urged to be bushfire-ready.