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Are you prepared for fire?
Early decision-making is the focus of the Summer Fire Campaign for 2016-17, which launched today (Sunday 4 December) at Mount Derrimut Nature Conservation Reserve in Deer Park.
***Media Release from Emergency Management Victoria***
Decision-making is critical in emergencies which is why Victorians are being asked to plan and prepare now for a hot and dry summer with significant fire risk.
The Summer Fire Campaign was launched today, prompting all Victorians to be better prepared for extreme weather conditions across summer including bush and grassfires, extreme heat, smoke health, and water safety.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said planning and preparation was fundamental to good decision-making and the key to saving lives in an emergency.
“The potential consequences of fire mean the decisions you need to make – how you plan, prepare and respond – must be black and white,’’ he said.
“Making the right decisions early is the focus of the Summer Fire Campaign because it is integral to the safety of you and your family.
“People need to prepare their properties now, plan and make the critical decisions early on, so they know what they need to do if there is an emergency. There should be no grey area when it comes to fire.’’
The Summer Fire Campaign kicks off in regional Victoria tonight, and in metropolitan Melbourne and the urban interface on 11 December.
Using black and white imagery and words, the campaign highlights that when it comes to safety, decisions must be black or white, or the consequences could be serious.
The campaign uses television commercials, radio and print advertising, digital and social media and weather partnerships to target regional communities in high-risk areas, people living on the outskirts of Melbourne and in large regional centres near open grasslands, and people travelling throughout Victoria over summer.
Mr Lapsley said with the Victoria’s revised seasonal outlook predicting an above average fire season across most of the state – now was the time to get ready.
“Grassfire is going to be one of our biggest risks and challenges this season, particularly in urban interface areas,’’ he said.
“There has been prolific grass growth right across the state and when it dries out it will become available fuel ready to burn.
“My message to the community is you need to do fire prevention works and you need to do that now and continue to follow it up.
“The first few weeks of December is the best time to get ready because once we get to Christmas, it gets busy and all the other things, like fire preparedness, gets forgotten about. Enjoy summer but take fire seriously.
“Good planning and preparation leads to better decision-making which is essential to your personal safety and that of your family.
“Our agencies and firefighters are prepared, are you?”
The Summer Fire Campaign is funded by the State Government and supported by Emergency Management Victoria, CFA, MFB, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Victoria Police and the SES.
Victorians are reminded about the many ways to stay informed and to never rely on one source for information.
Victorians can get emergency information from the VicEmergency app, the emergency.vic.gov.au website, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations, Sky TV, by phoning the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226, and by following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.
Quotes attributable to CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington:
“Don’t delay making fire preparations. Discuss with your family what you’ll do if a fire starts nearby, and ensure your fire plan covers all possible contingencies.”
“Follow the daily Fire Danger Rating forecast and use it to help you to decide when to leave early based on how dangerous the conditions are, and always monitor conditions on hot, dry, windy days.”
Quotes attributable to MFB Acting Chief Officer Paul Stacchino:
“If you live or work close to grassland, parks or paddocks, you could be at risk of fire this summer.”
“You won’t always receive a warning or be told what to do if a fire starts, it’s up to you to be prepared, know what to do and take action.”
“If you live next to grassland and a grassfire starts, walk at least two streets back from the fire to stay safe. If you live two or three streets away from grassland and a grassfire starts, stay where you are. Grassfires are unlikely to spread into built up areas.”
Quotes attributable to Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Stephanie Rotarangi:
“Forest Fire Management Victoria crews have been preparing for the summer fire season - firstly, by undertaking some planned burns in areas where the weather and fuel conditions have allowed us to do so. Our crews have also undertaken mechanical treatments, such as mulching, slashing and mowing, to reduce the levels of grass and vegetation following a very wet winter and spring.”
"This summer, we have over 600 Project Firefighters and over 2,000 staff with incident management roles working to keep communities safe. As always, our crews, equipment and aircraft are prepared and ready to respond to bushfires across Victoria."
For more information about planning and preparing for fire visit: emergency.vic.gov.au
Summer Fire Campaign facts:
- The Summer Fire Campaign prompts all Victorians to be better prepared for extreme weather conditions across summer including bush and grassfires, extreme heat, smoke health, and water safety.
- Beginning on 4 December 2016 in regional Victoria and on 11 December in metropolitan Melbourne and the urban interface, the campaign commences by encouraging Victorians to plan and prepare for the forthcoming summer.
- Advertising continues until the end of March 2017, with messaging moving towards asking Victorians in regional areas to ‘leave early’ in the advent of high risk fire days and in fire emergencies, and in built up areas that back on to grassland to walk two streets back, stay alert and monitor conditions.
- The campaign is led by the State Government in collaboration with EMV, the CFA and MFB.
- Targeted advertisements will be distributed in a variety of languages on TV, through cinema, radio, online, via social media, roadside billboards and through state, local and community newspapers.
- The community will see the campaign through up to seven targeted TV commercials, six radio advertisements, an extensive press, digital and social media presence and through 22 roadside billboards and other outdoor executions.
- The campaign features career and volunteer CFA firefighters, MFB firefighters and Victoria Police promoting messages about urban fringe grassfires, general fire preparedness and awareness, safe travel and reckless fires and arson.
- The Summer Fire campaign runs alongside other campaigns such as the Department of Health and Human Services Heat Health and insurance campaigns, Forest Fire Management Victoria’s planned burns campaign, Life Saving Victoria’s Play It Safe by the Water campaign and Crime Stoppers Victoria Arson and Reckless Fire campaign.