Get ready for fire season
EXPECT a late start to the region’s fire season was the message conveyed at an annual joint agency emergency services pre-summer briefing yesterday.
The Barwon South West region meeting held at Portland Golf Club yesterday included dozens of representatives from several organisations including the CFA, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Victoria Police, SES, the Department of Health and Human Services and Glenelg Shire.
It rained outside during the meeting, providing a welcome relief to participants.
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) far south west district manager Mark Mellington said the region had experienced close to average winter rainfall and root zone moisture levels, but moisture levels had dropped below average in more recent weeks.
He said early indicators were that there would be a prolonged dry spring.
CFA’s acting operations manager for the region, Terry Heafield, said a lot of water is lying around paddocks and forested areas in many sections of the shire, posing a risk later in the season due to the potential for more vegetation growth.
“That also means we will have the capacity to have access to more water this year, though,” he said.
“We’re hoping to have a quiet season,” Mr Heafield said, adding later that he doesn’t want people to become complacent.
“Maintain you properties, look at cleaning up around your house, and have your fire plan ready for the year,” he encouraged.