Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett has issued a warning to all Victorians to prepare for a potentially severe fire season.
Launching Fire Action Week today in Endeavour Hills, Ms Garrett said it was important people understood the risk in their area, particularly for those who have recently moved to the urban fringe and may be unaware of the risks.
Endeavour Hills has experienced major fires in recent years including on Black Saturday when nine homes were lost in Narre Warren North and Narre Warren South along with buildings, fences and livestock.
Fire Action Week (1-8 November) was brought forward this year following predictions of a long, hot and dry season.
So far this season, emergency crews have responded to more than 1,000 fires across the state, including 385 bush, scrub and grassfires in just one week in early October.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said large parts of the state were extremely dry and would continue to dry out leading into what is traditionally Victoria’s worst period for fires in mid January through to February.
In 2014-15, emergency services responded to around 4,250 bush and grass fires.
For those living near bush or grassland leaving early is the safest option on a high-risk fire day.
For help understanding your risk and how to get prepared for summer, visit emergency.vic.gov.au, download the FireReady app or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett
“With a long, hot summer season ahead, we made the decision to bring forward Fire Action Week to make sure all Victorians are preparing now.”
“Our emergency services do an outstanding job to protect lives and properties but all of us can take steps to support their efforts.”
“With our population booming, there are more people moving to the urban fringe. Learn about the fire risk in your area, prepare your property and know what you’ll do if a fire starts.”