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Glenmaggie Bushfire Exercise
The morning of the 12th of April was cool and wet, however as 11:00am approached the sun shone through the door at the Glenmaggie fire station just as the Training & Community Education Team began the Glenmaggie & Seaton Bushfire Exercise.
With a good turnout of locals and holiday property owners, residents had the opportunity to gain an understanding of bushfire behaviour from Instructor Terry Handley. The program for the first session covered topics including; basic fire science, factors which effect bushfire behaviour, types of fuels and how they impact bushfires.
Warnings and personal planning finished up the first session. Participants gained an understanding of different ways to seek information on fire situations, where and how to get warning information and the different types of warning that may be given out. Plan templates were included as part of the Community Bushfire Exercise Pack given out on the day to coincide with this questions to think about when devising your personal survival plan were discussed, along with ideas on things that you should pack to take with you and documents that you could keep electronically to aid families that were forced to be away from home for an extended period of time.
The second session focused on a local bushfire scenario where a fire started just out of town. Locals imagined it was a hot, dry and a windy day in February they were asked what they would be doing as part of their current fire plan. As the scenario progressed we saw how fire plans may have needed to change to ensure personal safety. Warning messages were issued for the town and surrounding areas. Locals had indicated that because of the days forecast conditions they would be listening to the local radio where these messages would have been broadcast. Residents were able to discuss parts of their personal plans with other locals and talk about putting them into practice in both past fire situations and into the future. Local brigade members were on hand to help talk about the local area and the resources local brigades have in times of large fires.
The third session for the day was a live fire demonstration using the fire education table showing residents how fire behaves in real time. The factors of vegetation, slope, fuel arrangement, fuel type and relative humidity were demonstrated.
The exercise finished up with question time and open discussion while we enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Glenmaggie brigade.
This day was made possible by having fantastic local brigade involvement and public attendance.