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 cli­mate­coun­

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