DFES Swan district officer urges residents to be bushfire ready ahead of summer


Department of Fire and Emergency Services District Officer Swan Nigel Elliott and Malaga Fire Station B Platoon station officer Mick Diallo.
DFES Swan district officer urges residents to be bushfire ready ahead of summer
Department of Fire and Emergency Services District Officer Swan Nigel Elliott and Malaga Fire Station B Platoon station officer Mick Diallo.

DEPARTMENT of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Swan district officer Nigel Elliot is urging residents to initiate a five-minute “fire chat” with their families ahead of the 2017-18 bushfire season.

DFES’s Swan district covers the cities of Bayswater, Stirling, Swan and Belmont.

Mr Elliott said the prediction for the season was “not looking good” and residents needed to learn how to “outsmart” fires.

“It only takes five minutes to have a fire chat which is sitting down with your family and working out what you are going to do if a bushfire threatens your area,” he said.

“Even myself with my kids, I have sat them down and said if something happened, this was what I have to be planned for.

“Where you get an incident occur, it is going to be very quick before it starts impacting the homes and that is where we have problems.”

Mr Elliott said people who lived near urban bushland or rural interface environments needed to cut their grass and get rid of excess fuel around their house.

Mr Elliott said DFES conducted a survey in June and July which found 20 per cent of people had taken action to prepare a bushfire survival plan, 7 per cent of people had actually prepared the plan and only 5 per cent of people had a written survival plan in place.

Malaga Fire Station B Platoon station officer Mick Diallo said residents always had to be vigilant and report any signs of fire or suspicious activities.

“In regards to fire in the bushland, if they are living nearby the area, obviously report it as soon as they can, have a plan in place if they are impacted by flame and smoke to be able to get out in a hurry,” he said.

“Especially when your home is under an ember attack, the embers will lodge themselves in air conditioners.”

Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said property owners of blocks more than 2000sq m in size needed to make sure they clear a 3m wide fire break around their properties.

The bushfire season runs from November 1 to March 31.

For more information, contact DFES on 13 3337 or the City’s rangers on 9272 0972.

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