Partnering with the shires of Wellington and Latrobe Valley, DSE and CFA’s regional staff, brigade members from Cowwarr, Seaton and Toongabbie coordinated a community fire safety day held on Sunday 21 October.
An increase in new residents to the area since the 2006 fires was one of the reasons for running the one-day workshop that encouraged community members to get active in preparing their properties and making plans ahead of the coming fire season.
With a spell of rain slowing attendance early on, around 100 community members made their way to Cowwarr Weir to work closely on their planning and preparation with event organisers, hang out with Captain Koala and enjoy a snag while chatting to local brigade members.
Speaking at the event was Russell Northe, Member of Parliament for Morwell, who promoted the support available to volunteers and the importance of working together to encourage bushfire preparedness.
CFA Vegetation Management Officer John Crane also spoke to residents about the importance of timing property preparations ahead of the fire restrictions.
“This was the part of the day that got a lot of response from people. Everyone went away with the message to prepare their property and look after their neighbour. We’re going to be more resilient as a community if we work together,” said John.
“I very much promote a partnership approach when it comes to bushfire prevention and we all need to do our part before the restrictions come in.”
John also thanked CFA members for arranging the event and providing an opportunity to get fire safety messages across to the community in a relaxed, face-to-face setting.
“We had the opportunity to talk with a good number of local residents and we know that these families will all go home and talk together and with their neighbours about preparing for this bushfire season. This was a fantastic initiative organised by the local volunteers. All credit and thanks should go to Lt Rob Gibbs at Cowwarr and all of the volunteers that made the day a success.”