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