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Community bushfire exercise
The Hazelwood Jeeralang Community Association (HJCA) and the Yinnar and District Community Association (YDCA) held a Community Bushfire Exercise on Saturday 21 March 2015 at the Federation University Gippsland campus in Churchill.
The exercise was conducted by the CFA Community Education Team with the assistance of members from the Churchill, Yinnar and Yinnar South brigades.
Prior to the exercise, attendees were given an overview of the key factors contributing to fire behaviour, the meaning of the fire danger ratings, community messaging, and how we can prevent and minimise the effects of a fire around the home.
A couple of scenarios were then played through, set in the local landscape, so that participants could consider what they might do as the fire progressed. Eventually, the scenarios were impacted by a late afternoon wind change, and the staggering effects to the size and shape of the fire once the wind change had impacted the fire area were also explained.
To cap off the afternoon, a demonstration was given using the burn table to simulate the local landscape including housing, roads, and property preparation. The demonstration gave a fantastic insight into the local effects of a fire, which supported the learnings from the exercise.
John Arkinstall, Acting Chairperson of the Hazelwood Jeeralang Community Association, said: "This has been a great opportunity for members of our communities to safely learn about bushfire behaviour and risk. We hope the lessons learned on the day will contribute to a safer community."