Fire Action Week 2016 - The right time to prepare
Be Fire Ready - The Reasons are Black and White
Fire Action Week 2016, held 23-30 October, is Victoria's annual fire planning and preparation week, signaling the start of the department's annual Summer Fire Campaign in partnership with emergency services agencies.
Launched following the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, Fire Action Week is an ideal time to find out more about the fire risk where you live, to prepare your property and decide well in advance about what you'll do if a fire starts.
Last summer, Victoria experienced an early start to the season with significant fires in October and November, followed by the Wye River/Separation Creek fire in late December 2015.
Across the entire season last year, there were:
- 21 Total Fire Ban days
- 'Extreme' fire danger conditions forecast over five days
- over 4,500 bush and grassfires responded to by emergency services
- 28,000 hectares burnt
- the loss of 145 homes.
This year, despite recent heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding, forecasts show there is potential for an above average fire season with the prospect of escalating fire behaviour later in summer due to higher temperatures in Spring drying out high risk areas.
Over the summer months, you'll see fire safety messages promoted through television, radio, press, outdoor and digital advertisements, as well as through social media channels.
Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigades around the state will also be talking to their communities about the local fire risk, how to prepare, and what to do to stay safe over summer.
During Fire Action Week, follow some simple planning and preparation tips to make sure you're ready for the upcoming summer:
- Check the fire risk where you live.
- Download the FireReady/VicEmergency app to your mobile device.
- Start checking Fire Danger Ratings daily.
- Check warnings - make sure you understand the three levels of warnings and what they mean.
- Pack an emergency kit of essentials. This should include important documents, medications, a mobile phone, torch, battery operated radio, money and clothes so you can leave easily before a fire starts.
- Talk to your household and neighbours about how you'll know when to leave and where to go to stay safe.
- Do you have family, friends or neighbours who need help preparing to leave early? Talk to them about when they're going to leave, where they're going to go, and how you can help.
- Be prepared for power failure in extreme weather conditions. Read the Power Outage Guide.
For more information on how to get prepared, visit the VicEmergency website.