As the Victorian fire season carries on and the risk of grassfires increases, CFA is urging people to have a bushfire survival plan in place and know when to leave early.
CFA crews have responded to dozens of significant fast-moving grass and scrub fires this season.
Those living near areas that have bush, forest, long grass or coastal scrub need to consider their fire plan and understand the Fire Danger Ratings and what they mean.
The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System was introduced last year and reduces the number of rating levels to four; Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic.
On days of Extreme fire danger, fires will spread quickly and be extremely dangerous, so leaving bushfire risk areas early in the day is your safest option. On days of Catastrophic fire danger, lives and property are likely to be impacted, so for your survival you should leave bushfire risk areas early in the morning or the night before.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said it’s extremely difficult to think clearly during an emergency, so it’s crucial for Victorians living in high-risk areas to have a plan in place.
“It’s as simple as having a written and practised plan, so you and your family can put it into action when you’re faced with the risk of fire,” he said.
He urged people to use Fire Danger Ratings as triggers to take action to keep themselves safe.
“Leaving early is the safest option on a day of Extreme or Catastrophic fire danger – houses are not designed or constructed to withstand fires in Catastrophic conditions,” CO Heffernan said.
“Fire safety is a shared responsibility across the community and on high-risk days you cannot expect a fire truck at every property. It's your responsibility to make the best possible decision for you and your family based on the current Fire Danger Ratings and official warnings for your area.
To prepare your fire plan, visit the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/bushfireplan.
To check the daily Fire Danger Rating and four day forecast, visit cfa.vic.gov.au.
There are four levels of fire danger in the new system:
- Moderate - Plan and prepare
- High - Be ready to act
- Extreme - Take action now to protect your life and property
- Catastrophic - For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas
The system also introduced a No Rating level for days where action is required by the community.