Schools urged to be bush fire ready

Education Minister Peter Collier said 121 schools were being encouraged to minimise fuel loads, practise fire drills and have a bushfire action plan.

‘Parents need to know that if a fire happens while their children are at school, the school is ready to act to keep the children and staff safe,’ Mr Collier said.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services undertakes fuel load assessments of schools on the register, recommends treatment plans at the local level, and initiates action such as prescribed burns, manual fuel reduction and liaison with other agencies and landowners where bushfire risks are found outside school boundaries.

Mr Collier said 112 public schools with evaporative air-cooling now had ember screens fitted to guard against ember attack during a fire, as recommended by the Keelty Report.

Screens are being fitted at three further schools.