In­de­ci­sion is ‘big­gest killer’

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - Adam Poulsen

The be­gin­ning of Novem­ber marks the of­fi­cial start of bush­fire sea­son and the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices has urged the com­mu­nity to make prepa­ra­tions.

DFES Mid West-Gascoyne Su­per­in­ten­dent Craig Smith said an av­er­age bush­fire sea­son was fore­cast for the Mid West, with about 300-400 bush­fires ex­pected across the re­gion.

“But if one of those fires comes up on a day where it’s 100km/h wind and the hu­mid­ity is right down, it can take off,” he said. “That wind can push a grass fire faster than you can drive some­times.

“On a hot and windy day, it only takes one bush­fire to spark and rapidly spread, po­ten­tially caus­ing life­long heartache.”

Supt Smith en­cour­aged all res­i­dents to put a bush­fire plan in place and dis­cuss it with friends, fam­ily and neigh­bours.

“The sin­gle big­gest killer is in­de­ci­sion; know­ing what to do in a bush­fire is vi­tal,” he said.

Supt Smith said it was very im­por­tant peo­ple un­der­stood what they were up against if they chose to stay and pro­tect their homes.

“We see too of­ten that peo­ple get up on the roof with their gar­den hose, and what they’re go­ing to do is get blown off and hurt them­selves, they achieve noth­ing else by do­ing it,” he said.

To help peo­ple de­velop a bush­fire plan, DFES has de­vel­oped a step-by-step set of on­line in­struc­tions, called Fire Chat.

Supt Smith said it was im­por­tant peo­ple took five min­utes to have a Fire Chat and dis­cuss their bush­fire plan.

“Any­one who lives near bush­land needs to have a Fire Chat with their fam­ily and house­mates to de­ter­mine when you will know to leave, where you will go and which way you will go if you’re threat­ened by a bush­fire.”

Res­i­dents are also urged to pre­pare their prop­er­ties by trim­ming trees, cut­ting long grass, clean­ing gut­ters and re­mov­ing de­bris from around their homes, as well as pack­ing an emer­gency kit.

To ac­cess Fire Chat and for help de­vel­op­ing a bush­fire plan, visit www.emer­gency.wa.gov.au/ pre­pare.

Picture: Adam Poulsen, The Ger­ald­ton Guardian

Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices Midwest-Gascoyne Su­per­in­ten­dent Craig Smith is urg­ing the com­mu­nity to pre­pare for bush­fire sea­son.

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