Fire Action Week 2016 (23-30 October) is Victoria’s annual fire planning and preparation week, signalling the start of the department’s annual Summer Fire Campaign in partnership with emergency services agencies.
Fire Action Week is a great opportunity to find out more about fire risk where you live, to prepare your property and decide well in advance about what you’ll do if a fire starts.
Last summer, Victoria experienced an early start to the season with significant fires in October and November, followed by the Wye River/Separation Creek fire in late December 2015. Across the entire season, there were 21 Total Fire Ban days, punctuated by Extreme Fire Danger conditions forecast over five days. In total, Victoria’s emergency services responded to over 4,500 bush and grassfires, resulting in 28,000 hectares burnt and the loss of 145 homes.
This year, forecasts show there is potential for an above average fire season with the prospect of escalating fire behaviour later in summer due to higher temperatures in spring drying out high risk areas.
Over the summer months, you’ll see fire safety messages promoted through television, radio, press, outdoor and digital advertisements, as well as through social media channels.
The purpose of these messages is to prompt Victorians to understand their local risk, talk to their family or household about how to stay safe, and to encourage communities to take responsibility for their own safety.
CFA brigades around the state will also be talking to their communities about the local fire risk, how to prepare, and what to do to stay safe over summer.
This Fire Action Week, follow some simple planning and preparation tips to make sure you’re ready for the upcoming summer:
- Check the fire risk where you live.
- Download the FireReady/VicEmergency app to your mobile device.
- Start checking Fire Danger Ratings
- Check warnings – make sure you understand the three levels of warnings and what they mean.
- Pack an emergency kit of essentials. This should include important documents, medications, a mobile phone, torch, battery operated radio, money and clothes so you can leave easily before a fire starts.
- Talk to your household and neighbours about how you’ll know when to leave and where to go to stay safe.
- Do you have family, friends or neighbours who need help preparing to leave early? Talk to them about when they’re going to leave, where they’re going to go, and how you can help.
- Be prepared for power failure in extreme weather conditions. Read the Power Outage Guide.
For more information on how to get prepared, visit the VicEmergency website.