Fire fighters do their bit for their community
ACCORDING to deputy group officer Ian Mungall, firefighting is not about heroics - it's simply a matter of looking out for your neighbours.
"I grew up in the era where you pitched in and helped out," said the member of the Ballandean rural fire brigade.
"It's pretty much protecting your own backyard, and your neighbour's."
Involved with his local brigade for nearly 20 years, the Ballandean resident hopes a new generation of firefighters will keep an eye on the land after he hangs up his boots.
"It's very concerning looking down the track 10 or 15 years," Mr Mungall said.
"You need younger people who are fairly fit."
Mr Mungall said joining the rural fire brigade was a great way for landholders to learn how to protect their property - particularly for residents new to the bush.
The firefighter said rural landholders could minimise fire hazards on their property by clearing any rubbish build-up, having a clear zone around the house, keeping fire breaks maintained and having a bushfire plan in place.
These tips might come in handy ahead of a potentially high-risk fire season.
"There have been a number of wet winters where we haven't been able to do many controlled burns," Mr Mungall said.
► To join a rural fire brigade, phone the warden directly.