Despite having a drier than average year, fuel loads on Yorke Peninsula remain high. With less soil moisture available this year, the fire danger season is expected to begin earlier than usual.
While the official start date is normally mid November, YPC Senior Compliance Officer, Phil Herrmann says that a high fuel load due to a late winter and above average temperatures expected early in the season, there is real potential for a bushfire emergency on YP this summer. Because of this, the CFS Chief Officer is considering a recommendation that the fire danger season commences 2 weeks early on 1 November 2017. While the official start date is anticipated to be 15 November 2017, YPC Senior Compliance Officer, Phil Herrmann says that a high fuel load due to a late winter and above average temperatures expected early in the season, there is real potential for a bushfire emergency on YP this summer.
Residents are urged to begin their preparations for the fire danger season now. Under government regulations, everybody has an obligation to prepare their own properties and assist their community to reduce the possibility of a major fire. Residents who fail to take appropriate hazard reduction prior to the start of the fire danger season may receive a $315 expiation notice plus the cost of contractors to do the work for them.
Reducing the amount of flammable materials, including vegetation and rubbish, is one of the most critical components of preparing for bushfires. Preparations include:
· Clearing rubbish close to buildings
· Clearing overhanging trees and vegetation close to buildings, including cleaning out gutters
· Clearing overgrown vegetation and weeds from vacant blocks
When slashing or mowing vegetation:
· Have a spotter on hand to watch for spark outbreaks and beware of snakes
· Wear protective clothing
· Have a rake or shovel on hand to put out any sparks
· Wear protective clothing to guard against potential fire or snakes
· Have plenty of water on hand – a working hose or minimum 500 litres fire unit
When burning any collected debris ensure that a 4 metre clearance is maintained around the fire pit, have plenty of water on hand and wear protective clothing.
Everyone is also urged to prepare their bushfire survival plan prior to the fire danger season. Visit the CFS website www.cfs.sa.gov.au for detailed advice on preparing your home and property to ensure you survive a bushfire.
YPC CEO Andrew Cameron said “The key to ensuring our community stays safe during the fire danger season is by having everyone as prepared as they can possibly be. We urge residents to start planning now to ensure their family and property has the best possible chance of surviving a bushfire.”