Boolarra CFA – Burning Issues – Sep. 2019

Seasonal Outlook 2019 – 2020

The latest seasonal outlook suggests that the 2019/20 fire season has the potential to be an extended and active season, and both the

South East NSW coast and Gippsland have been highlighted as facing above normal fire potential. We have had below aver

age winter

rainfall and the soil and bush remain dry, despite the recent rain.

The outlook map below shows the bushfire outlook for Australia through to the end of 2019 at the current point in time. This will be reviewed as we move through spring but it is a timely reminder that we could well be in for a longer than usual fire season, with a potentially early start. At this point we are unaware of when fire restrictions will be announced. With this in mind, now is the time to begin preparing your property for the summer. Effective property preparation now reduces the risks and helps us to keep our community safe. Clear leaf litter, dead branches, overhanging trees and other potential fuel so

urces away from buildings and fence lines. Keep grass cut short. Check and test your fire-fighting equipment if you have it – pumps, hoses and tank connections. Replace

anything that is damaged or has perished. Review your summer fire plan – will you stay or go?

Can we fit?

As part of your summer preparations, make sure your driveway and access tracks will allow tanker access. In the past we have been called to fires that we cannot get a truck into, due to dense overhanging trees along driveways and access tracks. The average fir

etruck needs a minimum of 3.5 metres width and four metres height for ease of access.

Brigade Training

Brigade training has been more of an indoor activity over winter.  We have reviewed our hazardous materials awareness, practised mapping and hose skills and refreshed our hazardous trees awareness. A number of members have also completed the Level Two First Aid Skills refresher course and our Breathing Apparatus wearers have upgraded their skills in preparation for the rollout of the new BA equipment. Now that the days are getting longer, we will be out and about every second Monday night, practising the skills we use on the fire-ground. This will include basic skills such as bowling hoses, water delivery, draughting and boosting water, running grass fire attacks, mapping and radio skills. We are also required to have completed burnover drills prior to each fire season so we will be running through that drill a number of times.

Juniors

Boolarra CFA Juniors.

The Juniors continue to meet on a fortnightly basis at the station and have a lot of fun. Again, over winter they have tended to spend the nights indoors, building their team work and leadership skills, practising their radio communication and mapping skills, and learning about fire behaviour. They have overhauled and tested the Community Firefighting Trailer and conducted equipment

checks on the tankers.

Boolarra CFA Juniors.

Burning Off Safely

Once you have cleaned up your property, make sure you dispose of your green waste safely.   If you live in the residential zone of Boolarra, you are not allowed to burn off green waste and must take it to the Council’s designated green waste disposal facilities.  Latrobe City has a coupon system that can be used at any time that suits you. Each coupon allows you to take one cubic meter of material free of charge to the facility. If your property is zoned Farming, Rural, Rural-Lifestyle and Rural/Residential, you do not need a permit to burn. However, you must adhere to the following conditions (Latrobe City Council By-laws):

  • An adult is to be in attendance at all times
  • A minimum firebreak of 2 metres must be constructed around the area to be burnt
  • Sufficient water is to be on site to handle any emergency that may occur
  • Burning off must not commence before 7am
  • Burning off must not commence if winds are more than 15 kilometres per hour or the temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius. If burning off has commenced, all fires MUSTbe extinguished immediately.

Notice must be given to each owner or occupier of land neighbouring the area to be burnt.

Call 1800 668 511 Vic Fire Ballarat to lodge your intention to burn.

The Brigade has a Community Firefighting Trailer that is available for people to borrow. This has a 400-litre tank, pump and hoses. Please contact the Captain 0408 173 637 if you would like to have this when you are burning off.

Smoke Alarms Battery Check

Remember to test your smoke detector and replace the battery when daylight savings starts.

Annual Emergency Services Open Day – 20 October

Our annual Open Day is on again this year and will be held on 20 October at the Fire Station. We hope we will have a lot of people pop in as they are out and about checking out the Garage Sales in Boolarra that day. Captain Koala will be there to meet the kids and we will have a number of activities for people of all ages. Make sure you set yourself a reminder to come down, ask any burning questions you may have and have a look at some of the helpful information we will have on display. Vic Police will also be in att

endance.

Keep informed – find us on Facebook and download the Vic Emergency app.

There are a number of ways you can stay informed throughout the year on all emergency related matters.  Keep up to date with everything fire Brigade related by searching for “Boolarra CFA” on Facebook and hitting the like button. We post regular community updates and information. The Vic Emergency app is very useful. Download the app to stay informed about what is happening – the site puts out regular updates when an incident is underway so that our community members are kept more aware of what is going on.

Di Billingsley,
Captain.