Don’t wait and see. Leaving late is risky, it means that a drive that normally takes a few minutes could take hours and you may not be able to get out at all.
Here is my list of things to do on the morning of a Total Fire Ban or day of high fire danger. How does it compare to your list?
On High Fire Danger Days
Add last items to relocation kit and put it in the car
Check for leaves around the verandah and in the gutters
Cover clerestory windows
Put draft stopper against doors
Ensure vent on the gas bottle is pointing away from the house
Top up bird, pet and chook bowls with water
Have spare hose and fittings inside the house
Leave driveway gates open
Leave the ladder out
Move fuel to sheds further away from house
Remove door mats, wooden furniture away from the house
Take boots & brooms inside
Tidy verandah & move combustibles from near windows
Turn off electric fence
Water garden especially around the house
The local landcare group (Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group) includes much of the Mt Egerton Fire Brigade area. The group has access to a small amount of funding for gorse control. Gorse is a very prickly shrub that has bright yellow flowers and is a weed that needs to be actively controlled.
Advice on how to control gorse is available if you have gorse on your property and landcare members may be eligible to access funding to assist in control.
The brigade is working with various agencies to reduce the amount of this weed in the area, especially on the edge of the township.
Come along to the car boot sale on Saturday at the Recreation Reserve and find out about the funding and the best way to control gorse. The landcare group will be there with the Mt Egerton CFA.
The Mt Egerton CFA will be at the Car Boot Sale at the Recreation Reserve this Saturday 2 December 10am – 2pm, weather and fires permitting.
If you missed our open day a few weeks ago it is not too late to pick up some information or chat to brigade members about fire prevention. We are happy to provide ideas or do site visits to discuss ideas on how to prepare your property.
When you are thinking about your plan and carrying out activities to reduce the fire risk please consider working with your neighbours. Not everyone has the same ability to get work done and you may be able to team up.
Even if you plan not to be at home during a fire make sure you give your property the best chance to survive without you being there. Make sure you have your property insured.
Yesterday our fire brigade attended a shed fire on private land near a pine plantation at the end of Llandeilo Lane. We supported Ballan Brigade as it was in their assignment area. Luckily the shed was mostly empty but explosions were heard when the fire started.
These fires are tricky as we never know what we will find or what the shed contains. Access was across the bank of a dam and it was too narrow for one of the pumpers with branches growing over the track. How the fire started is suspicious and police and a fire investigator attended .
It provides a reminder to consider how the brigade will access your property and to make sure tankers are able to get up the driveway. We need a clearance about 4m x 4m and room to turn around. You are likely to get 3-4 tankers to an incident such as this.
Also as we have highlighted before, your property number visible no matter from which direction someone approaches your property. Minutes count when we need to get to a house or shed fire and you don’t want us to waste time looking for your property. In this case without the assistance of an adjoining landholder and some local knowledge we would have taken much longer to get to the seat of the fire.
Please take note that the fire restriction period began at 1am on 27 November 2017 and will continue until 1 May 2018. The Fire Danger Period is when CFA restricts the use of fire in the community. This is to help prevent fires from starting.
The signs went up in the Mt Egerton area this morning. If you light a fire in the open without a permit during this period expect the brigade to turn up and Police will also be notified. Check what you can and can’t do relating to fires at the CFA website.
The Fire Danger Period is NOT the same thing as a Total Fire Ban.
So it is cold and wet and who wants to be thinking about the coming fire season. This week various organizations that are involved in planning for the coming fire season have been saying it may be an early season.
This means that fire restrictions may come in early. It really is time to start to do some preparation.
Here are 4 things you could do now.
- make sure you have your street number highly visible at the entrance to your property.
- put the Vic Emergency app onto your phone
- if you are into Facebook, follow/like your local fire brigade page
- find and review your fire plan
How many times have you lit a fire heap after a long dry summer, watched it flare up and then die down, and then walked away to do something else? It is very tempting to do this especially if you are next to a ploughed paddock and there has been several days of rain. Fire is a tricky beast and has a mind of its own. The wind can get up and blow embers onto a patch of dry grass and the flames make their way to more dry fuel.
Who knows what happened in this case except that the fire heap was left unattended for a short period and flames made their way to several round bales stacked against the garden fence and beside a shipping container.
As the volunteers who attend this fire know, it takes a long time to put this type of fire out, more than 5 hours of pulling the bales apart and applying water. Mt Egerton Tanker, Ballan Tanker, Ballan Pumper & Mt Wallace Tanker and 11 volunteers were in attendance.