Fire is a reality for Australians – and with current temperatures soaring over the summer months we really need to be aware of the changing conditions and to know when it is safe to leave early on fire risk days.
So you have your family ready; you made a plan and practiced it once or twice, you have packed enough things, have enough food and water for 3 days and you now are waiting to make that decision – when do I leave?
What is the best time to leave?
The CFA advise people that the SAFEST time to leave is the night before or very early on Code Red days. Do not wait and see as Code Red days are rare and they are the highest Fire
Danger Rating. These are the worst conditions for a bush or grassfire. There are very few, as in hardly any, houses that are designed or constructed to withstand fires in Code Red conditions – so keep this in mind when you making your decision. (see here for more detail on Fire Danger Ratings)
What if I am a tourist?
If you are a tourist in Victoria, or any state in Australia, it pays to be aware of what is going on. Using the CFA app available for smart phones or listening to the local radio stations for warnings are a great way to keep informed. Follow @CFA_Updates for all the latest news.
If you know you are going to be travelling into country regions just use the CFA website to check the areas and how they are safe they are. It will be up to you to check and monitor conditions. Reconsider visiting high-risk bushfire areas on fire risk days.
Myth or Fact?
There are many myths and misinformation surrounding fire and being fire ready, and it is really important to know what is a myth and what is fact.
MYTH: It will be safe to leave even if I can see fire.
FACT: Roads might be blocked, thick smoke will make it difficult to see, the fire could travel faster than you drive and fires can leap highways. Every minute you wait, it gets closer.
MYTH: If you live in a residential suburban area you’re safe.
FACT: Even on the urban fringe you are at risk of fire. In strong winds, embers can travel up to 35 kilometres in front of a fire, starting new fires. People who travel or holiday in high risk bushfire areas are also at risk of bushfire. Even people considering a day trip should be prepared.
MYTH: I can easily defend against fires; I am prepared and have experience.
FACT: You can’t prepare for all fires. You need a well thought-out bushfire survival plan which has been agreed and discussed with members of the household. Leaving early is always the safest option.
It is critical for your safety to check more than one source for warnings and don’t always rely on official warnings to leave – if you feel you need to leave, then leave! On high-risk days, monitor the conditions around you and know making a decision early is the safest option for you and your family.
We urge Victorians or people travelling around Victoria to connect with the CFA to keep up-to-date with changing situations in the state and to follow them on the major social media networks
This post was sponsored by NuffNang