VICTORIANS URGED TO PREPARE FOR FIRE SEASON

Victorians are being urged to prepare for the upcoming summer fire season, with Fire Action Week starting today.

Fire and rescue agencies have started their preparations under a COVIDSafe plan this year to ensure burns and fuel reduction activity can be conducted safely, and all Victorians are being asked to do the same.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited local CFA volunteers at the new Carlsruhe Fire Station to discuss fire preparedness.

Fire Action Week, which runs until 25 October, is a time for households to increase their understanding of local fire risks, prepare their properties and plan how to stay safe.

Fire Action Week is a perfect opportunity for people to talk to family, friends and neighbours about the fire risk where you live and make plans for what you’ll do on hot, dry, windy days.

In the lead-up to summer, CFA brigades and FRV fire stations around the state will be running Fire Safety Essentials online sessions to help you understand and prepare for fire risk.

Victorians can stay up-to-date with emergency warnings by tuning into Victoria’s emergency broadcasters including ABC local radio, commercial and designated community radio stations or Sky News TV, phoning the VicEmergency hotline 1800 226 226, or visiting www.emergency.vic.gov.au, and downloading the VicEmergency App.

Restrictions are in place across Victoria due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, from midnight on Wednesday, residents in metropolitan Melbourne will be able to undertake fire preparedness activities at second properties in regional Victoria, by obtaining written formal approval from the council their second property is located in.

This will involve providing the relevant council with details about the property, type of work and date of travel. Importantly for residents of metropolitan Melbourne, the CHO restrictions they are required to comply with in Melbourne will travel with them into regional Victoria.

Residents who live in regional Victoria continue to be able to travel to a second property, holiday home or business in regional Victoria to prepare it for an emergency.

Local councils will also continue to issue Fire Prevention Notices where it is deemed necessary to place an obligation on property owners. Residents issued with a Fire Prevention Notice are legally bound to oblige and can travel to their property to clean it up.

Visit vic.gov.au/fireactionweek2020 for a list of activities and online events happening throughout Victoria during Fire Action Week. For more information on Fire Safety Essentials sessions, visit cfa.vic.gov.au/about/whats-on

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Fire Action Week is a time to increase your understanding of the fire risk where you live, prepare your property and talk to your loved ones about what you’ll do to stay safe from fire.”

“Our CFA brigades have started their preparations, so now it’s up to all Victorians to understand their local fire risk and develop a fire plan.”