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Strzelecki Group prepares for summer
The Strzelecki Group of fire brigades conducted its annual bushfire training exercise on Sunday 8 October in conditions that are already drying out in District 9.
Held at Leongatha Airport, volunteers participated in practical exercises aimed at familiarising themselves with the equipment used by 12 brigades.
The morning training included draughting water from a collar tank; using techniques to extinguish a running grassfire, electrical pole fires; using fire extinguishers on a car fire and on flammable liquid; radio procedures; using a drip torch for back-burning; and a burnover drill.
The exercises were also an opportunity for the brigades in the group to get to know each other, as these are the people they will be working alongside this summer.
Members from Allambee, Hallston-Mt Eccles, Kongwak, Koonwarra, Korumburra, Leongatha, Leongatha South, Loch, Mirboo North, Nerrena, Poowong, Ruby and Thorpdale briagdes, plus HPV firefighters took part.
“It’s predicted we will have an earlier and more intense fire season this year, so we’ve been diligent in getting our brigades and volunteers ready,” said Strzelecki Deputy Group Officer and Leongatha South brigade member Gary Williams.
“We’re prepared. Now it’s up to our community to be prepared.
“There are some simple things you can do around your property to get ready for the summer bushfire season.”
Top tips for getting prepared:
- Cut back overhanging branches from your house and driveway (a fire truck requires 4m x 4m clearance)
- Clean gutters to remove leaf litter
- Cut or graze grass around your home
- Store flammable liquids and fuels, including winter wood piles away from the house
- Discuss your bushfire plan; contact and practice your arrangements with anyone your plan includes
- Don’t forget your pets, make plans with them in mind too
- Work out how you will stay informed and use more than one source: download the VicEmergency app, pre-populate your radio settings with your local emergency broadcasters (listed at emv.vic.gov.au), save the VicEmergency hotline into your phone (1800 226 226)
- If burning off, keep it safe and legal; never leave it unattended, monitor weather on the day and future conditions, have sufficient water to stop the fire spreading, check fire restrictions with your local council, and register it by calling 1800 668 511.