Plan to outsmart a bushfire

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DFES wants residents who live near bushland to formulate a bushfire plan.

THE start of the bushfire season has prompted the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to urgeYanchep and Gingin residents to ensure they are prepared for what could be a challenging summer.

DFES metropolitan assistant commissioner Brad Delavale said it was essential for everyone to be prepared.

“Last season there were over 1700 fires in the metropolitan area, burning through more than 1000ha,” he said.

“On a hot and windy day, it only takes one bushfire to spark and rapidly spread, potentially causing lifelong heartache.

“A bushfire can be one of most traumatic events you will experience in your life, with day turning to night, smoke burning your eyes and it sounding like the roar of a jet engine going over.”

Mr Delavale said it was vital people spent five minutes having a fire chat and discussing their bushfire plan and deciding if they would leave early or stay and defend.

“DFES has developed a suite of tools to step people through their fire chat and the development of a bushfire survival plan.

“Anyone who lives near bushland needs to have a fire chat with their family and housemates to determine when you will know to leave, where you will go and which way you will go if you’re threatened by a bushfire.

“The single biggest killer is indecision – knowing what to do in a bushfire is vital.”

Other key tasks include preparing your property by trimming trees, cutting long grass, clearing gutters and removing any debris from around your home and packing an emergency kit.

Preparing for bushfires is a team effort, and everyone needs to play their part.

Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au/prepare to download fire chat and create your bushfire plan today.