Prepare your home now
The Victorian Government is urging Benalla locals to prepare early for the upcoming fire season, by talking to family and friends and developing a comprehensive fire plan.
Warmer and drier-thanaverage conditions suggest this Victorian fire season is likely to start earlier and be more active than usual.
State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said Fire Action Week provided a prompt to speak to family, friends and neighbours about what to do on hot, dry and windy days, including when to leave and where to go to stay safe.
Ms Symes said fire agencies had started their preparations earlier this year because of prevailing weather and climate condi- tions, and all Victorians are being asked to do the same.
Fire Action Week is the perfect time to prepare your property for the summer, by taking simple steps such as:
cutting grass to less than 10 cm;
removing flammable items from decks and verandas before days of heightened fire danger;
using pebbles or rocks in your garden, not flammable mulch;
keeping gutters clear of leaves; and
disposing of dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark from around your home and property.
‘‘As a home owner in a fire-prone area I know the importance of bushfire preparedness and now is the time to take action and ensure you are ready for
●●●●●what is forecast to be a long, hot summer,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘Our emergency management personnel have started their preparations, so it’s now up to all Victorians to understand their local fire risk and develop a fire plan.
‘‘There are some simple steps you can take right now, such as downloading the VicEmergency App and doing some basic jobs around the home, including trimming grass and clearing gutters.’’ Ms Symes said people should check the Fire Danger Rating for their area every day, and know which rating was the trigger to enact their plan.
If the Fire Danger Rating is Code Red, Extreme or Severe, you are risking lives if you wait and see what happens. Leaving early is always the safest option to protect you and your family.
Victorians can stay up-todate with emergency warnings by tuning into
Victoria’s emergency broadcasters, phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226, visiting emergency.vic.gov.au and downloading the VicEmergencyApp. Mature trees can help shield against radiant heat and embers. They must be strategically located and well managed. Remove Flammables Remove flammable items from decks and verandahs, such as boxes, furniture and doormats.
Keep grass short
Keep grass cut to less than 10 cm. Fire can ignite and travel quickly through long grass.
Keep woodpiles away from the house. Stray fire embers can easily ignite woodpiles.
Store flammable liquids away from house. Where possible, store in flame-proof containers.
Leaves and twigs
Get rid of dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark.
Prune lower branches of shrubs to separate from surface fuels underneath.
Prune shrubs well away from branches of mature trees
●●Cut back branches
Cut back overhanging tree branches close to property — no branches in 10m space.
Do not have large shrubs next to or under windows.
Pebbles and rocks
Use pebbles and rocks in your garden (not flammable mulch).
Keep gutters and roof areas clear of leaf litter.
Pebbles and rocks are better than flammable mulch.
Keep gutters clean and clear.