Prepare properties now says fire chief
COUNTRY Fire Authority chief officer Steve Warrington has highlighted the need to prepare properties as Victoria faces an earlier, longer, and in some parts more severe fire season than normal.
The fire danger period is fast approaching across Victoria so any burn-offs need to be conducted soon and before the window to do so closes.
“Across the state, we are witnessing low levels of rainfall and a build-up of fuel loads on the ground...these are conditions that could lead to a bad fire season,” Mr Warrington said.
“The best way to defend your homes is to prepare before the fire danger period begins.
“This includes cleaning up your gardens, your gutters and removing flammable waste from your yards.
“Many property owners dispose of this waste with a burn-off, but consider alternative methods such as mulching, chipping or taking green waste to a transfer station.
“Residents who wish to conduct burn-offs on their private properties need to follow some basic rules.
“Check weather conditions, monitor the wind, and follow local council laws and regulations.
“Before lighting up, register your burn-off.
“It is important that as well as registering your burn-offs, you notify your neighbours that they may see smoke.
“False alarms take CFA crews away from real emergencies, can increase the risk to the community and can be very frustrating for our crews, many of whom are volunteers.
“By registering your burnoff, any reports of smoke or fire will be cross-checked with the burn-off register to avoid unnecessary response of fire services.”
Landowners can register their burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority ( ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs (esta.vic. gov.au).
PLAN AHEAD: With fire restrictions expected to be introduced earlier than last year authorities are urging communities to start getting ready for summer.