VICTORIANS URGED TO PREPARE PROPERTIES AS FIRE SEASON LOOMS
With parts of Victoria already having experienced days RI KLJKHU ¿UH ULVN now is the time to start preparing your property, CFA Chief 2൶FHU -DVRQ +H൵HUnan has warned. While the most recent seasonal outlook for spring, released in late August by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), shows parts of Victoria are forecast to have a wet spring, warm and windy days will bring an LQFUHDVHG ¿UH ULVN The outlook has predicted strong grass growth and the potential of LQFUHDVHG JUDVV¿UH conditions once the vegetation dries out – especially in the Wimmera and the 0DOOHH ¿UH GLVWULFWV which are likely to have an above QRUPDO ¿UH SRWHQWLDO during spring. Fortunately, strong winter rainfall
PHDQV WKH ¿UH season activity is expected to be below normal across the eastern, north-east, central ranges and Otway Ranges, with a reduced risk of FDPSDLJQ EXVK¿UHV in forested areas of the state.
However, Chief 2൶FHU +H൵HUQDQ warned property owners in some forested areas still had a lot of debris to clear following winter storms. “Whether you live in the North West, where we can soon expect to start seeing fast-moving grass¿UHV RU LQ WKH GDPSer forested areas of East Gippsland, now is the time to start preparing yourself and your property
IRU WKH ¿UH VHDVRQ ´ he said. “Victoria is one of the world’s most EXVK¿UH SURQH DUHDV and even a normal ¿UH VHDVRQ SUHVHQWV D high risk to commuQLWLHV ´
&KLHI 2൶FHU +H൵HUnan said Victorians who planned to ‘leave early’ – that is the night before or morning of a high¿UH ULVN GD\ ± VKRXOG also prepare their property.
“Preparing your property means you minimise the chance of property dam
DJH GXULQJ D ¿UH even if you plan to leave early. Houses have been lost from things as simple as embers landing on D GRRUPDW OHIW RXW ´ he said.
“A big clean-up beIRUH WKH ¿UH VHDVRQ can make a huge difference to the safety and survival of your KRPH LQ D EXVK¿UH ³,I EXUQLQJ R൵ DV part of preparing your property, make sure you check for local restrictions, monitor weather conditions – particularly wind – and always register your EXUQ R൵V ´
Once a Fire Danger Period has been declared in your local government area, you need to apply for a permit DW ¿UHSHUPLWV YLF gov.au. Visit cfa. vic.gov.au for more information about EXVK¿UH SODQQLQJ and preparation, and about leaving early. Visit coronavirus. vic.gov.au for up-todate advice about a travel permit scheme for Victorians in Restricted Areas who need to leave their principal residence IRU EXVK¿UH SURSerty preparations at secondary properties in other areas.