Don’t leave it too late to get ready— CFA
Fire season expected to start early
HEATHCOTE CFA is urging locals to have their fire plans ready approaching the summer fire danger season.
It comes after the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2018, released last week by the Bushfires and Natural Hazards CRC, indicates a more severe bushfire season this year.
Heathcote CFA captain Carl Watkins said the brigade will be moving their programs and information sessions forward slightly to compensate.
“The initial indicators show it’s going to be an earlier start to the fire season — particularly with the little amount of rain we’ve had,” he said.
“Around the Heathcote area a lot of forests are green but will dry out pretty quickly as soon as it warms up.
“We’re hoping residents on the edge of town are prepared because everyone’s going to need to be ready earlier in the season.”
He said the Heathcote CFA will be hosting brigade briefing sessions earlier and will look at moving community sessions earlier to ensure residents are prepared.
With all the warning signs of a dangerous season, Mr Watkins said there wasn’t anything additional the brigade would be doing, just ensuring members continue their training and the community is briefed.
“It’s nothing more than we would usually be doing. It’s the usual community safety infor- mation we do every year,” he said.
“Myself and other members of the brigade are always available for residents to ask questions regarding their properties and fire plans.”
Climate Councillor and former New South Wales Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins said this outlook is one of the most severe he has ever seen and major fires are almost inevitable in those states already dealing with devastating, prolonged drought conditions.
“Drought conditions are exacerbating an already abnormal fire season and could lead to catastrophic conditions for much of southern Australia,” Mr Mullins said.
For more information, visit climatecouncil.org.au