Prepare for the fire season

10 Oct 2018 Seymour Telegraph, Seymour VIC (General News) Talk to family and friends and develop a comprehensive fire plan that is the message from authorities as they urge residents to prepare early for the coming fire season. Warmer and drier-than-average conditions suggest the Victorian fire season is likely to start earlier than usual this year and be more active than normal. Fire Action Week kicked off on Sunday and is the time to speak to family, friends and neighbours about what to do on hot, dry and windy days, including when to leave and where to go to stay safe. Fire agencies have started preparations earlier this year due to prevailing weather and climate conditions and residents are being asked to do the same. Preparing your property for the summer now is also vital, making sure you cut grass to less than 10 cm, remove flammable items from decks and verandahs before days of heightened fire danger, have pebbles or rocks in your garden, not flammable mulch, keep gutters clear of leaves and dispose of dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark from around your home and property. As a home owner in a fire-prone area I know the importance of bushfire preparedness and now is the time to take action and ensure you are ready for what is forecast to be a long, hot summer, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said. Our emergency management personnel have started their preparations, so its now up to all Victorians to understand their local fire risk and develop a fire plan. There are some simple steps you can take right now, such as downloading the VicEmergencyApp and doing some basic jobs around the home, including trimming grass and clearing gutters. Ms Symes said people should check the fire danger rating for their area every day and know which rating is the trigger to enact their plan. If the fire danger rating is code red, extreme or severe, you are risking lives if you wait and see what happens. Leaving early is always the safest option to protect you and your family. Stay informed Residents can stay up-todate with emergency warnings by: tuning into ABC local radio and Sky News; phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226; going online to; or downloading the VicEmergencyApp.