Bushfire risk is real: CFA
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.