Preparedness key to bushfire safety
BUSHFIRES are part of every Australian summer and can have devastating and lasting impacts on communities. Western Australia is prone to bushfires and no matter what the risk in our area, a fire can happen anywhere and at any time.
Last year Waroona, Harvey and Yarloop experienced a devastating bushfire which tore through more than 69,000ha, claimed two lives and destroyed more than 180 properties.
So it should not take an “above normal” fire potential predicted for parts of the State for residents to be prepared.
The reality is we need to be prepared every spring regardless of the level of warning issued.
Bunbury City Council community safety emergency management team leader Chris Widmer’s belief that we should bust the myth on the “it will never happen to us” excuse is a great motivator in ensuring we prepare.
We can’t control the weather but there are certain steps we can take to ensure we have the best chance of survival.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services repeatedly tells us how we can reduce fuel loads and potential fire dangers around the home, but it is equally as important to come up with a survival plan to ensure the safety of our family and friends.
During a bushfire, we rely on many volunteers and other emergency services who are busy, so dialling 000 is not always going to be a solution.
Sit down with your family and discuss a safe place to meet in the case of separation and visit the department’s website for advice on how to prepare, act and survive in the case of a bushfire.
Preparations completed now will go a long way to reducing the risk and severity of fires over summer.