Fire pe­riod to be­gin

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - By STRUAN JONES

FIRE re­stric­tions will come into ef­fect through­out the Alpine re­gion when the of­fi­cial Fire Dan­ger Pe­riod starts on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 29.

The re­stric­tions mean you can­not light a fire in the open air un­less you have a per­mit or com­ply with cer­tain re­quire­ments, and if you don’t ob­tain a per­mit, you could be break­ing the law and may be pros­e­cuted.

Sheri­dan Gill­ham, sec­re­tary of the Bright Fire Brigade, has likened fuel loads in the area to those seen around the time of the Black Satur­day fires that rav­ished the state in Fe­bru­ary 2009. Ms Gill­ham has also per­son­ally recorded rain­fall at about 99mm be­low a nor­mal year in the Bright area.

Fol­low­ing Vic­to­ria’s sec­ond-dri­est Septem­ber on record, fore­casts show that there is po­ten­tial for an ear­lier and longer fire sea­son in Vic­to­ria.

So the mes­sage is clear from the CFA, get pre­pared, and have a plan.

“You’ve got to pre­pare now, you can’t just go into the sum­mer think­ing ‘we’ll be right’,” Mr Gill­ham said.

“It’s all the usual stuff; you have to clean up your prop­erty, and if you’re start­ing it now, it’s prob­a­bly too late.”

For the Bright Fire Brigade, it’s busi­ness as usual, meet­ing ev­ery Mon­day night at 7pm and proac­tively brac­ing for the danger­ous pe­riod ahead.

Cap­tain Paul Mans­field be­lieves there could be a mis­con­cep­tion at the mo­ment that the re­gion is a bit green, but he warned as we move into sum­mer it will con­tinue to get dry.

“You don’t have to travel too far to see how dry it is,” he ex­plained.

The fire brigade has rec­om­mended any­one plan­ning a burn-off be­fore Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 29 should regis­ter the burn with the CFA by phon­ing 1800 668 511.

As part of Bright’s an­nual Spring Fes­ti­val, CFA vol­un­teers will be run­ning a guided tour of the work­ing ru­ral fire sta­tion on Churchill Av­enue on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 29.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Bright Fire Brigade will hold a bush­fire plan­ning work­shop at the sta­tion to talk to the pub­lic about how the sea­son is pro­gress­ing.

They will also be as­sist­ing peo­ple to write bush­fire plans.

The work­shop will be held at 7pm on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 5.

PHOTO: Struan Jones

VOL­UN­TEERS: First lieu­tenant Brett Michie, cap­tain Paul Mans­field and fire­fighter Michael Bal­four at the Bright fire sta­tion. The CFA warns peo­ple to get pre­pared for the bush­fire sea­son and ob­serve fire re­stric­tions dur­ing the dan­ger pe­riod.

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