Reminder to be prepared for fires

Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter

The Harvey shire’s chief fire control officers have said a recent report was a timely reminder for people to be prepared for the upcoming bushfire season.

On August 28 the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre released a report which showed the South West region to have higher than normal fire potential due to rainfall deficiencies and warmer than average conditions forecast this October.

Yarloop West bushfire control officer Phil Penny said the report was an advice on what to expect.

“This report doesn’t necessarily mean that we are at a higher risk, but it does reinforce the fact that people need to be prepared for the worst,” Mr Penny said.

“If it’s hot, dry and windy, things are going to move quickly, preparation is key, and it makes it easy if it does happen.

According to the report, the South West experienced its driest start to the year on record as well as its seventh-driest autumn on record which had led to soil moisture deficiencies and stress being placed on woody vegetation.

Both of these situations were tipped in the report to be further exacerbated by a predicted warmer than average October.

With the weather slowly heating up and people spending more time outdoors, Mr Penny stressed the importance of understanding fire bans.

“There is always between four and seven days of total fire bans over the summer and quite often people question what that means for them,” he said.

“We would like to encourage people to start thinking about the effect their outdoor activities can have on the community in a consequential manner.

“Now is a great time to jump on the internet and see what a total fire ban means in your area.”

Information and preparation tool-kits to help develop a bushfire survival plan are available on the DFES website.

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