“For metropolitan residents, Melbourne Cup weekend is the first public holiday in the lead up to the fire season and the extra day off is the perfect opportunity to work around the house,” he said.
“For parts of Victoria that don’t have a long weekend, forecast clear weather means this weekend will still be an ideal time to clear your property and remove possible fire risks.
“October has been unexpectedly dry and we have already seen a number of bushfires across the state so residents shouldn’t be complacent.”
“We live in one of the most fire-prone regions in the world and no matter where you live it is never too soon to start preparing. It only takes weeks or even days of hot, dry and windy weather to create dangerous fire conditions.”
Many Victorians will also be visiting their holiday home for the first time in months. With many in high fire danger areas now is the perfect time to begin a spring clean-up.
Mr Ferguson said while now is the perfect time for resident to get their homes ready for summer, they should also take this opportunity to prepare themselves and their families.
“Prepare your home and property by slashing, mowing, grazing, spraying and using herbicide, and creating fuel breaks by removing all fuel (vegetation) down to the soil. Living in a grassland area with dried-out brown or golden-coloured grass that is over 10cm high is a bushfire risk,” he said.
“This is only one step on the way to staying fire safe. Take the time now to do some planning yourself – talk to your family and friends about what you’ll do on a bad day, such as when and where you’ll go. Practise leaving. Make sure you know what fire weather district you’re in, and check the Total Fire Ban and Fire Danger Rating for that district every day over summer.”
Mr Ferguson also urged people to take care while burning off over the weekend.
“To avoid brigades being called out unnecessarily by a neighbour or passer-by, tell your neighbours when you plan to burn-off and register the burn with the CFA on 1800 668 511. People should also leave a three-metre fire break, free of flammable materials around any burn off,” he said.