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Be prepared for bushfire season

Published on Tuesday 10 October, 2017

Bushfire ready

The City of Gosnells is urging residents to double-check their bushfire and evacuation plans ahead of the bushfire season, to ensure they are prepared for any emergencies.

Officers from the City are now inspecting properties to ensure they comply with firebreak and fire hazard requirements to minimise risks within the community.

City of Gosnells Chief Executive Officer Ian Cowie said a wet summer for the metropolitan area in 2016/17 had led to high grass levels, which combined with drying soils create a fire hazard.

“Bushfire Brigade volunteers have been conducting fuel reduction burns on public and private land during winter and spring, ready for another busy summer,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of all residents to check requirements for their properties and take steps to prepare themselves and their properties ahead of the bushfire season.”

Owners or occupiers of properties zoned ‘General Rural’ and ‘Special Rural’ must install firebreaks or slash and clear their lots and keep their land free of all flammable material above 10cm by 30 November each year.

All other properties must be cleared and maintained free of flammable material above 10cm all year round.

A restricted burning period is in place until 30 November and burning is prohibited on all properties from 1 December to 31 March each year.

“There are a number of ways that local residents can help keep their homes safe from fire,” Mr Cowie said.

“It’s important to cut long grass and trim overhanging tree branches so they are clear of your home and power lines, and regularly rake up leaf litter and twigs under trees.

“Residents should keep roof gutters and valleys clear of flammable materials, and create and maintain a gap of at least two metres between the house and tree branches.”

The City also asks residents to ensure firebreaks are maintained to the required standard and that their homes can be easily accessed by large fire appliances.

When preparing a bushfire safety and evacuation plan, residents should take into account that they may lose power and water. Fire trucks will not be available to defend every home, and water bombing by aircraft is not guaranteed.

“For their own safety and that of their neighbours, the City recommends that all residents identify the risk, reduce the hazard, remove all flammable material and ensure taps and hoses are easily accessible,” Mr Cowie said.

Information on the City’s Fire Hazard Reduction Notice, Prohibited Burning Periods and joining the Volunteer Fire Brigade is available at www.gosnells.wa.gov.au.

Updates on current incident and advice on how to prepare a bushfire survival plan are available on the Emergency WA website at www.emergency.wa.gov.au. More information about being bushfire ready is available at www.dfes.wa.gov.au/firechat.