Victorians are being urged to prepare for the upcoming summer fire season, with Fire Action Week starting today.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville launched the week of action alongside Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp, Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block, CFA Chief Officer Garry Cook and Forest Fire Management Victoria Deputy Chief Fire Officer Trevor Dess.
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.
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.
Today’s launch was held at a property in Little River, south-west of Melbourne, where the owner demonstrated how people can clear and prepare their property to make it as safe as possible ahead of the upcoming fire season.
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 Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“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 emergency management services have started their preparations, so now it’s up to all Victorians to understand their local fire risk and develop a fire plan.”
Quotes attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp
“Significant planning has been underway for some time across the sector to prepare not only for the potential of fire, but also for the potential for floods and other emergencies.”
“Fire Action Week is an important reminder for all Victorians to know where to go for emergency information and how you and your family can stay safe this summer.”