The Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney has urged local residents to take part in the state-wide Fire Action Week, kicking off this week and culminating in Prepare to be Fire Ready Day on Sunday, 18 October.
With this bushfire season expected to be worse than last summer when major fires claimed 173 lives, Ms Tierney said it was vital residents started planning and preparing now.
“This week is a call to action,” Ms Tierney said.
“Fire Action Week is a whole-of-state effort to encourage everyone to get fire ready. It is a time for residents to identify their risk, start preparing their bushfire survival plan and start clearing their properties.
“Every Victorian, no matter where they live, needs to be fire ready.”
Ms Tierney said the aim of the week is to raise community awareness and support on-the-ground activities to help make neighbourhoods, communities and Victorians safer for the coming fire season.
“Our focus is to make Victorian communities as fire safe and as fire ready as possible. No one – no matter where they live or what their fire experience has been – can afford to be complacent.
“The Government is working alongside local councils and communities to lead a range of activities, including clean-up working bees right across the state,” she said.
Fire Action Week activities in Polwarth will include:
• 13th October 2010 – Community Meeting at the Beeac Community Hall
• 14th October 2010 – Community Meeting at the Rokewood Community Hall
• 15th October 2010 – Community Meeting at the Cressy Community Hall
• 17th October 2010 – Bushfire Planning workshop at the Bannockburn Fire Station
Across Victoria, residents will be participating in activities such as:
• Clean up ‘working bees’ across the state;
• Residents getting their homes ready by clearing gutters;
• Managing fuel loads and fire risks on individual properties;
• CFA and MFB fire preparedness activities; and
• Community fireguard group meetings and other community meetings.
The Brumby Labor Government is putting in place a range of measures to ensure Victoria is as fire ready as possible, including hundreds of firefighters starting work earlier on fuel reduction burning, the CFA recruiting new members and agencies implementing key changes to fire management.
“The next fire season is only 16 days away, and it is vital that we all work together to take early action,” said Ms Tierney.
More information on Fire Action Week can be found on the CFA website, the primary online channel for Fire Action Week: www.cfa.vic.gov.au.