Esperance 2017-2018 bushfire season - be prepared

Bushfire season is fast approaching and preparation is the key to ensuring families and homes are safe during the notorious summer period.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Esperance area officer Steve Peterson said the coming season would likely be delayed due to the February floods this year.

“The ground moisture around at the moment is definitely wetter than it would normally be for this time of year,” he said.

“That’s probably going to delay our fire season a little bit but this is Esperance and we’re always going to get a fire season.”

Mr Peterson encouraged residents to look at the Fire Chat program on the DFES website, which proposes a five minute talk among families.

The Fire Chat is driven by three questions: When you will know to leave? Where you will go? Which way you will go?

“Generally what they’re encouraging families to do is sit around the kitchen table, have a yak and discuss those three questions,” he said.

Esperance Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service captain Sunnie Fissioli said it was essential that everyone knew their bushfire risk and had prepared a bushfire survival plan.

“Bushfires can start without warning and move quickly giving you little time to react so it’s essential that if you live or travel near bush you know what you will do if a fire occurs,” he said.

“Creating a bushfire survival plan now will help you take action and avoid making last minute decisions that could prove deadly.

“Being prepared ahead of time by using the DFES Bushfire Preparation Toolkit will give you the best chance of survival in a bushfire emergency.”

Mr Fissioli said the brigade had been busily preparing for the bushfire season with controlled burns, holding information sessions, and conducting regular training.

“Firefighters volunteer their time to prevent and respond to bushfires, however we need the community to do their part and make sure they are adequately prepared this season,” he said.

“A number of Bushfire Ready Group events will be held in Shire of Esperance to help people prepare for bushfires, including street meets, property walk-throughs and community information sessions.

Mr Fissioli said dates for these events were being finalised and would be announced in the near future.

“Everyone is encouraged to get involved with their local Bushfire Ready Group – it’s a great way to get to know your community and learn more about how to survive a bushfire.”

For information about about preparing for bushfires visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au