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.
Also when you clean out the ash make sure you put it in a metal container not a plastic one, in case the coals are still hot. Coals also need to be completely out before you add them to the garden or compost heap.
The water bucket I have had on the verandah during the summer becomes the ash bucket in winter.
While many of you were enjoying a lazy Sunday morning, some brigade members were at the CFA Station by 8.30am to prepare for an influx of bike riders. The station is a water point for those hardy riders who chose to do the long bike ride for the 2018 Reach4Research Cycle Classic. Many were thankful for a brief fuel and rest stop after powering their way up the steep hill at the southern entry to town.
Only minutes after the doors were closed on the bike ride, the brigade was paged to a lawnmower fire in Greens Lane Gordon. Gordon and Mt Egerton CFA Brigades both arrived on scene at the same time and the fire was quickly extinguished. The ride on mower was destroyed.
If you are mowing at this time of year be aware how quickly a fire can start and then spread. Have your phone handy as a quick response by brigades is needed to prevent the fire spreading.
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.