Bush­fire risk is real: CFA

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Ahead of a dry sum­mer sea­son, the CFA has ex­pressed con­cern about res­i­dents be­com­ing com­pla­cent when it comes to as­sess­ing bush­fire risk.

The CFA’s bush­fire com­mu­nity sur­vey has re­vealed that 52 per cent of Vic­to­ri­ans liv­ing in ar­eas at high risk of bush­fire think the risk to their home is mod­er­ate, mi­nor or non-ex­is­tent.

Lo­cally, Co­bram Fire Brigade cap­tain Adrian Hilder told the Courier the fire sea­son had started ear­lier than usual and would be more in­tense.

The brigade urged res­i­dents to pre­pare homes and make sure they were fol­low­ing lo­cal laws ahead of sum­mer.

Mr Hilder said the brigade was also look­ing at ru­ral prop­er­ties on the out­skirts of town to as­sess growth of for­est close to the town.

CFA act­ing chief of­fi­cer Stephanie Ro­tarangi said it was even more con­cern­ing that one in ev­ery three peo­ple said they would only leave when a fire threat­ened the town, rather than the morn­ing of or night be­fore a day of ex­treme fire dan­ger.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant to get your head around what the real risk is to you and your friends and fam­ily, how to min­imise it and what to do when there is a bush­fire emer­gency,’’ she said.

The most re­cent sea­sonal out­look showed Oc­to­ber rain­fall was gen­er­ally be­low to very much be­low av­er­age across Vic­to­ria.

‘‘If rain­fall trends con­tinue, this sea­son will be in line with Vic­to­ria’s dri­est sea­sons — in­creas­ing the risk of bush­fire,’’ Ms Ro­tarangi said.

‘‘It may not im­pact you or your fam­ily di­rectly — but what if it does?

‘‘Peo­ple need a plan; ex­actly what are you go­ing to do for you fam­ily, for your kids, your part­ner or par­ents, your loved ones, pets, other an­i­mals if a fire oc­curs and a fire truck may not be able to get there? Start hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tions now.

‘‘Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who live and travel to high-risk bush­fire ar­eas along with vis­i­tors to Vic­to­ria need to in­form them­selves of how they will keep safe in a fire.’’

Visit cfa.vic.gov.au for in­for­ma­tion about plan­ning, prepa­ra­tion and about leav­ing early in a bush­fire sit­u­a­tion.

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