Plan ahead: Volunteer fire fighters Allan Jubber, Caillin Mitchell and Steve Burgess and captain Ben Carey, joined by Buninyong Michaela Settle and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison at the Sebastopol Fire Brigade in preparation for fire season. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Stop, drop and prepare

October 22, 2020 BY

SPARKING conversations is important in the spirit of Fire Action Week as local firefighters urge the public to prepare their fire safe plans as we approach warmer, drier weather.

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison met with members of the Sebastopol Country Fire Authority brigade to discuss preparedness and methods for households to increase their understanding of fire risks and plan accordingly.

Ms Settle said the aim of the visit was to get people thinking about the fire season ahead.

“Fire Action Week is a time to increase your understanding of the fire risk where you live, prepare your property and talk to your loved ones about what you’ll do to stay safe from fire,” she said.

“Prepare your properties and have those difficult conversations about what we would have to do if we were in a fire situation.

“The CFA do an extraordinary job but they can’t be doing it on their own, if people aren’t maintaining their property, it’s putting these guys at risk.”

Considering last summer’s fires, Ms Addison said with climate change was creating tougher, harsher conditions every year.

“Victoria’s Emergency Management services have started their preparations for the upcoming summer fire season, so now it’s up to all of us to understand our local fire risk and develop a fire plan,” she said.

“Get your planning done and have those difficult conversations, but it’s having those that will save lives.”

In the lead-up to summer, CFA brigades and Fire Rescue Victoria stations around the state will be running online sessions to help the public understand and prepare for fire risk.

Captain of the Sebastopol Fire Brigade Ben Carey said the most important thing to remember is to have a plan and knowing when to act on that plan.

“When it starts to warm up, people start to burn off on their own properties and they need to make sure it’s fully our because a fire can burn underground for up to a week … that’s how the fires normally happen,” he said.

“The key point is for families to get together, have a plan in place, have a safe point and have something packed and ready to go so everyone is on the same page.

“We can’t predict what’s going to happen, but we’re there to prepare and attack the job if it comes along.

For preparation recommendations and to stay up to date with emergency warnings, tune into Victoria’s emergency broadcasters, phone the VicEmergency hotline 1800 226 226 or visit emergency.vic.gov.au.