Fire risk still high


Fire risk still high

Be ready: urging locals to be ready for fires this season was Gippsland’s Community Safe presenter John Henshaw. He is with Koonwarra CFA’s Ross Considine, Anthony Clemann, Harry Forrester and South Gippsland Shire Council emergency management co-ordinator Linda Jamieson.

FIRE brigades have been spreading awareness of bushfires, with informal information sessions over the past few weeks.
The sessions kicked off on New Year’s Eve, with the Mirboo North CFA hosting a road accident rescue display and supplying the community with valuable fire information.
CFA volunteers and staff helped residents complete their fire plan and discussed free bushfire risk assessments.
Many tourists attended the next information session at the Walkerville Caravan Park.
“This was really successful,” CFA brigade support officer Jodi Butler said.
“We were able to connect with a whole group of people that we never have before.
“Most of the people that we chatted with were tourists who were there for only about a month at a time but still didn’t have a fire plan.”
Meetings were held at Port Welshpool and Koonwarra on Saturday, and Venus Bay on Sunday.
People are becoming less cautious about bushfires as the memories of Black Saturday are erased from their memories, according to CFA community presenter, John Henshaw at Koonwarra on Saturday.
But the Gippsland officer said three years on, the threat was just as real.
“No one should be feeling completely safe. The real threat this year could be grass fires, given the amount of rain we’ve had,” he said.
Incidences of grass fires have been increasing across the state.
The fires can burn up to two metres high and travel 30 to 40 kilometres an hour, destroying everything in their path.
“We just hope people have got a plan, no matter what it is. Are they going to try and defend their house or leave?” Mr Henshaw said.
Preparing a fire plan was the focus at Venus Bay.
“We used to just give all the information to people and tell them to go fill it out themselves,” Ms Butler said.
“But this year we’re offering to sit down one on one and work out a fire plan for your home.”
Ms Butler said it was important to develop a personal fire plan.
“Your plan can be different to your neighbour’s,” she said.
“You might have pets to consider or disabled or elderly people in your house.”
The last of the fire information sessions is on the Sandy Point foreshore this Saturday, January 14, between 10am and 2pm.

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Posted by on Jan 11 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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