Last season we saw how devastating fires can be, and residents are being encouraged to plan for fire danger season now. Reducing the amount of vegetation, fuel and undergrowth around the property is one of the most important aspects of fire prevention and preparedness.
Council’s Fire Prevention Officers have commenced their annual inspections of properties across the Council area.
We are urging the community to be prepared, and to prepare their properties for this fire danger season.
Preparing your property
- Reduce the amount of vegetation, fuel and undergrowth around the property by mowing long grass and cleaning up flammable undergrowth within 20 metres of your home and within 5 metres of sheds, out buildings and external fence lines.
- This includes cleaning up accumulated branches, leaves and other flammable fine fuels from around your home and property.
- Prune trees overhanging the house, as well as lower branches of shrubs and trees to separate the foliage from the ground fuels underneath.
- Clear flammable leaves and debris from gutters.
- Move flammable items and materials away from the house.
- In rural areas, slash firebreaks and graze paddocks to reduce the fuel loads.
- Have a reliable, independent water supply.
- Prepare and practice a bushfire survival plan.
- Stay informed during the Fire Danger Season by monitoring multiple sources of information (Radio, CFS Website, social media or contact the Bushfire Information Hotline).
If native vegetation is present, property owners may need to seek approval from CFS to clear native vegetation beforehand. If positioned well, some large trees and shrubs can also act as a radiant heat shield or catch embers.
Given the prediction of above-average rainfall this Spring, property owners will also need to monitor for regrowth of vegetation.
The CFS website has tips on how to prepare yourself and your property, what to do in the event of a fire, how to stay informed and how to develop and enact a bushfire survival plan.
All residents, particularly those who live or work in an area of high fire danger, should have a bushfire survival plan.
A prepared and practised plan should outline what all residents of the property will do in the event of a bushfire, or even on a day of total fire ban. It should include things such as whether they will stay and defend a well prepared home or property, or leave early, where they will go and what belongings they will take.
Bushfires can be particularly stressful. Having a plan should help with important decision making under pressure.
The CFS website has a handy tool to assist anyone in developing a bushfire plan, visit cfs.sa.gov.au
Residents need to be particularly careful when undertaking burn-offs at this time of year.
Vegetation is starting to dry off which, combined with higher temperatures and wind, increases the risk of fires escaping or getting out of control.
A minimum of a four metre break cleared of all flammable material around the fire, a sufficient supply of water available to extinguish the fire together with active monitoring, including for up to 48 hours following the burn is highly recommended to prevent accidental escapes.
Where possible, consider alternatives to burning such as green waste recycling facilities.
Burning off is not permitted during the fire danger season or on a day of total fire ban.