Monday, August 15, 2011

Fire Plans - have you got one for your property yet?

Volunteers from Low Ecological Services putting in fire breaks that have already proved crucial in fighting fires to the west of Alice Springs.
We've already seen predictions of large fires for Central Australia vindicated in the past few weeks. Many people have been donating their time and putting in long sleepless nights to protect private property and conservation reserves around Central Australia. Due to the tireless work of regular and volunteer firefighters, there have been no injuries resulting from any of these fires and no loss of housing. The fire season is far from over though, and we may have just received a taste of what is to come.

With the heavy fuel loads on the country at the moment, the destruction of older trees by fire is a more likely outcome. By progressively reducing this fuel through grading and burning breaks, the fires when they do come, are not only easier to get under control, but also less damaging to remnant habitat.
This should be no cause for alarm for property owners around Alice Springs, but should provide ample motivation for the production of fire plans for all properties.

Your fire plan should be simple to follow and known to everyone who is resident on the property. Information about fires in your area can be obtained by listening to ABC Local Radio (783 AM) or by checking the Bushfires NT website.

Land for Wildlife can help you to develop a fire plan for your property, but the important points to cover include;

1. In the event of a fire alert, will you stay on the property or leave - everyone should decide in advance.

2. If you need to evacuate, everyone should travel by the same, pre-determined, safe route.

3. Prevention is better than cure - your fire plan should include all relevant measures to protect your property from being threatened by fire in the first place; fuel reduction burns, fire breaks, and safe access routes.

4. In the event of small spot fires, the fire plan should detail the location of fire-fighting hand appliances and fire extinguishers.

5. The fire plan should have the phone numbers of all relevant emergency authorities that you might need to contact in the event of an emergency.

For more information you can visit the following websites;

Bushfires NT

North Australian Fire Information - NAFI
The detailed spatial and temporal fire information that NAFI provides can be very useful in staying abreast of the changing situation at a local level.

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