THE Country Fire Authority (CFA) is encouraging people to ensure the safety of their properties ahead of the fire season.
The winter rains are likely to have delayed the onset of the fire season. CFA acting chief officer Garry Cook encouraged people to use this time to take extra precautions.
“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,” Mr Cook said.
“Many property owners dispose of this waste with a burn-off, but we also recommend people consider alternative methods such as mulching, chipping or taking green waste to a transfer station.”
People planning to conduct burn-offs should first register it with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA).
Registering burn-offs means any reports of smoke or fire will be cross-checked with the burn-off register to avoid unnecessary response of fire services.
Mr Cook said he was encouraged to see an increasing number of people were doing this.
“We’re not sure if there are more burn-offs, or simply more people doing the right thing but with almost 57,000 registered through winter compared to almost 51,000 last year think it’s a combination of both,” he said.
“More people are spending more time at home at the moment and if that means they are choosing to spend more time to clean up their properties before the bushfire season, that’s a good thing.”
Mr Cook noted there are various steps people should take to ensure their burn-offs remain under control.
“When conducting burn-offs, remain alert and always have resources on hand to extinguish the fire.
“Check the weather, winds must be light and temperatures low. Make sure you have sufficient water on hand at all times and fully extinguish the burn once completed. Escaped burn-offs or those not conducted properly will result in you being liable for the consequences.”
Burn-offs can be registered with the ESTA by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing [email protected].
For more information about preparing your property head to cfa.vic.gov.au/prepare.