Kyabram Free Press
CFA chief delivers bushfire warning
The head of the CFA has sounded a warning that the number of high-risk bushfire days will continue to grow rapidly due to human-induced climate change.
The warning comes on the back of research supported by the CFA, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Parks Victoria and published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the number of ‘Very High’ risk bushfire days could triple by the end of the century, based on current evidence.
“Changes in temperature, humidity and rainfall during spring and early summer mean the fire season will continue to start earlier and run longer. As a flow-on effect, springtime opportunities for prescribed burning could reduce,” Mr Heffernan said.
“As firefighters, we see the effects of these longer and more severe fire seasons and it’s important that we turn our minds towards what firefighting looks like in the not-too-distant future.”
The CFA is proud of its research programs, according to Mr Heffernan.
“CFA is undertaking work to identify challenges brought on by climate change and increased fire risk, and ways to solve them through adaption and mitigation.”
Kyabram CFA Captain Wayne Peterson said the research was of concern and his brigade was working to be prepared with new training and equipment.
“The Kyabram Brigade is always moving forward with the times, with member recruitment/ retention and relevant, up-to-date training,” he said.
“New technologies and equipment are always welcome by the brigade to help combat the increased threat that high-risk seasons will pose in the district. The brigade recently upgraded to a heavy tanker, which almost doubles the water-carrying capacity to 4000 litres in the event of a fire.”
Local CFA preparedness and good community planning are both important, according to Mr Peterson.
“As these high-risk days increase the brigade and neighbouring brigades will be well-trained, well-resourced and well-prepared to assist the local community, in the event of a major fire in the district. However, the community still have to carry out their part and make sure they are prepared for the likelihood of more highrisk days,” he said.