Gippsland Region General Manager Malcolm McKenzie said that for the past ten years bushfires have been the focus; however since the recent high levels of rainfall Gippsland community members are encouraged to be conscious of their grassfire risk.
“All land owners are encouraged to prepare their property for the fire season and to maintain preparation measures throughout summer,” Mr McKenzie said.
“Vegetation management such as putting firebreaks on the North and West of your property as well as mowing, slashing or grazing long grass around your buildings, fence posts and fence lines and keep grass short throughout the summer are vital to reducing fire risk”.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said CFA was prepared for fast-running grass fires across the State and the community should not be complacent.
“There has been a lot of growth thanks to the recent rains and, as grass and other vegetation dry out, it will quickly become fuel for fires. It will only take a few days of hot, dry weather to create a considerable fire risk,” Mr Ferguson said.
“We’ve already seen some fast running grass fires in the
Mr Ferguson said that grass fires could be just as dangerous as forest fires and the community needs to prepare.
“Despite common misconceptions, grass fires can claim lives and property – they pose a serious risk,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Grass fires are particularly quick-moving, wind driven and intense. When a high wind combines with an uphill slope the effect can be especially ferocious.”
“The taller and drier the grass, the faster it will burn.”
“People living in areas with crops, pastures and open native grasslands need to be prepared. It’s not too late to prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan.”
There are a number of tools available to help people prepare their Bushfire Survival Plans, including the Fire Ready Kit, Household Bushfire Self Assessment Tool and Fire Ready Meetings.
Mr Ferguson encouraged people living in high-risk areas to attend a Fire Ready Meeting as part of their preparation.
“CFA is holding meetings across the State but, disappointingly, numbers are down on previous years. It might be raining outside, but now is not the time for complacency,” he said.
“Attending a Fire Ready meeting is one of the simplest ways to start preparing for fire season and increase the chance of your home and family surviving a bushfire.
“Meetings cover information on fire behaviour, Code Red days and preparing your home.”
To find Fire Ready Meetings in your area, download a Fire Ready Kit or complete the Household Bushfire Self Assessment Tool, go to www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.