Preparing for fire and harvest season

November 29, 2017

With Fire Restrictions for Moira and surrounding shires starting on Monday (November 20) the Country Fire Authority has issued a timely reminder for all property owners to prepare for the coming fire season.

Preparing your property means you can minimise the chance of property damage during a fire, even if you plan to leave early.
Reduce your grassfire risk on days when it is safe to do so; slash, mow, graze and spray grass near your home and assets, and create fuel breaks.
Reducing the vegetation around your home is one of the most important things you can do to keep your home safe from any fire.
Understand your risk and plan ahead. Know what to do on hot, dry, windy days and plan for all situations.
Have a Plan; make sure your family knows it, stick to it and don’t hesitate when it’s time to leave. Never wait to receive an official warning before you leave as you may not get one. Fires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes. Make sure you have a Plan.
When preparing for fire also consider your pets; have bedding, food and water ready to go and make sure you have safe transport when leaving.
Always put your safety before the safety of your pets.
Farmers are also reminded of the importance to check machinery, weather conditions and to have a Harvest Fire Plan.
Header fires can start due to a number of reasons with the primary cause being the exhaust manifold causing dust in the engine bay to ignite, especially dust from lentils or crops affected by fungal disease.
Consider weather conditions carefully, especially strong winds, which would make it difficult for you to put out a fire is it started. If you couldn’t put it out easily, it’s time to stop harvesting.
Having a Harvest Fire Plan and taking the following steps can help lessen the chance of things going wrong during harvest; blow down machinery regularly, check and replace bearings before they fail, locate your fire equipment so you can access it quickly, keep a UHF or mobile phone handy and consider moving to another paddock if the risk is too great where you are.
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