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CFA: Prepare for fire season

Country Fire Authority District 17 Commander Lindsay Barry is asking people to prepare their properties as we head towards another fire season.

Mr Barry said rain had kept ground moisture relatively high in Victoria’s west and central regions, but the regions had the potential to dry out quickly under dry and warm conditions.

“Although Victoria’s traditional period of increased fire activity is in January and February, the outlook suggests there will be a level of unpredictability around when fires will occur over the summer period and how intense they are likely to be,” he said. 

Mr Barry said property preparation meant people could minimise the chance of property damage during a fire, even if they planned to leave early. 

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“Reduce your fire risk now and slash, mow, graze and spray grass near your home and assets, and create fuel breaks,” he said.

“Reducing fuel loads will ensure that if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold or spreading. 

“Any rain we do experience in spring will produce growth, which could very easily become a high fuel load throughout the summer season if not properly managed.”

Mr Barry also emphasised that while CFA and its partner agencies Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management, DELWP and Emergency Management Victoria were doing everything they could to prepare for the bushfire season, agencies looked to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.

“There is still a window of opportunity to clean up your property if you haven’t already done so before the start of the coming Fire Danger Period,” he said. 

Mr Barry said people needed to be aware that if using fire to clean up around their properties they needed to obtain a permit from their local council and register the burn on 1800 668 511. 

“People should not burn off during strong wind or when strong wind was forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards,” he said.

“For information about burn-off restrictions specific to your area, consult your local council.”

The entire November 11, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!