Fire season threat ignites concern
RURAL Fire Brigade volunteer community educator (VCE) Alan Beaver admits he is “concerned” about what could be a horror bushfire season ahead and has taken to the streets to offer information.
Mr Beaver and other rural firefighters will be manning a stall outside of Bi-Lo for the rest of the week to offer advice and information of what people can do to protect themselves and their homes.
After a long wet season, Mr Beaver said there is now an extraordinary amount of fuel in the form of grass around and increasing the bushfire risk.
“When I tell people the bushfire season has already began – and it actually began on August 1 – they are surprised it starts this early,” he said.
“What you have to appreciate is some of the most savage fires burn in Siberia in -70 degree temperatures,” he said.
Mr Beaver said although the bushfire season officially kicked off this month, they could still get away with controlled burns, under strict conditions.
“You have to be much more careful with timing because if you burn in the day, the fire can get too hot and get away from you,” he said.
“Early morning and later afternoon are safer times to burn as it is a more likely time for dew to have made the ground wet, which helps to slow the burn.”
Mr Beaver said education and understanding were the key to being prepared this bushfire season and encouraged people to pay them a visit this week to better prepare themselves.
“When you’re dealing with that big, red beast, if you know how to work it you can at least keep yourself safe.”
Fire danger ratings
LOW-MODERATE - can be easily controlled and pose little or no danger to life/property.
HIGH - can be controlled where loss of life is unlikely and property damage limited.
VERY HIGH - can be difficult to control and you should use your home for safety only if it is well constructed and prepared.
SEVERE - may be uncontrollable and move quickly. Leaving your home is the safest option for survival.
EXTREME - may be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving. People will be injured and homes/businesses lost. Leaving your home is the only option for survival.
CATASTROPHIC - may be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving. Well prepared and constructed homes will not be safe and leaving is the only option for survival.