xfireplanning_4713THIS week is ‘Fire Action Week’, the right time to be reviewing your plans for the coming fire season. And if you think it’s been too wet for fires to start burning, you won’t think that when the first 40 degree day of the summer arrives … and that may not be too far away.

Here is a series of articles on how to prepare for fire: You’ve cleared the gutters, cut back the grass and tackled the undergrowth – but that might not mean that you are fully prepared for fire this summer. CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said research showed Victorians were great at carrying out the easy to do preparation tasks in the lead-up to the fire season.

“But it’s actions like talking to your CFA brigade about the risk where you live and making a decision with your family about when you’ll leave and where you’ll go that could save your life,” he said.

Fire risk varies from city fringe areas next to grassland to rural areas close to grass or bushland. For information on the risk in your area and tips on leaving early, you can talk to your local CFA brigade or visit cfa.vic.gov.au. Fire planning and preparation should include a conversation with your household at the start of summer about when you will leave before a fire and where you will go. You also need to decide where you will shelter if you get caught out and cannot leave your property or area.

“Make sure everyone you live with knows these plans, so you’re all clear about what you’ll do on a fire risk day,” Mr Ferguson said.

“You should also pack an emergency kit at the start of summer so you’re ready to go any time. This should include important paperwork and essentials like mobile phones, medications, change of clothes and water. If your kit is already packed, it’s easier to grab it and go.

“Finally, remember to talk to friends, family and neighbours who may need help leaving early before a fire,” he said.

“The responsibility for surviving the fire season is shared between emergency services and the community – we allshare the responsibility for our community’s safety,” he said.

Plan and prepare for fire this summer:

Do you understand the fire risk where you live? Talk to your local CFA brigade and find out your level of risk, or visit cfa.vic.gov.au

  • Talk to your household about what you’re going to do on a fire risk day, where you’ll go and when you’ll leave
  • Pack an emergency kit so you’re ready to go. For more information on what to include, go to cfa.vic.gov.au
  • Download the FireReady smartphone app
  • Plan ahead so you don’t have to make decisions at the last minute

For more information on planning and preparation this summer, go to cfa.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667