BUSHFIRE SEASON

Bushfire season re visited – Back in spring of 2015 we wrote a blog on the possibility for extreme bushfires due to hazard reduction burns that have been opposed to by some green factions and heavy rain falls predicted to rise well above average for large areas of Australia.

Well the above average rain falls that were predicted came to fruition, in Canberra, Sydney and most of the eastern States of Australia. Whilst this rain was predicted we did not expect to receive the deluges and follow on collateral damage caused by huge storm cells.

The concern now is probably more likely for extreme bushfires come November 2016 – after seeing verges around Canberra cut only 2-3 weeks ago and now almost 2ft or 600mil high, can you imagine the fuel for bushfires available in November 2016, we only need a week of high temperatures to turn this green foliage into high octane fuel. Never before can I ever remember driving to Sydney in February all the way looking at a totally green landscape.

There is no way the Canberra government is going to be able to keep up with the rain, I don’t know how any other area looks after their verges to major road ways.

In Canberra for years we had a contractor that stayed ahead of the fuel keeping the verges down, however the government tendered the contract out to the cheapest price. This new contractor cannot do the job, the government actually called out to anyone with a ride on mower to help out, can you believe that?

The thing is it is going to be impossible to control the grass growth, fallen branches, leaves and twigs in every area. So it is going to be up to the homeowner to look after his own property, no matter where they may live.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT FROM BUSHFIRE

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Flame Zone or BAL Low in Australia bushfires can claim you as a victim.

Due to ember attack in the 2003 Canberra bushfires embers were carried long distances reaching across 3 suburbs destroying many homes.

The first thing you can do is keep your roof and gutters clean from leaf and tree debris, get rid of the clutter – don’t stack items up against the home or fence i.e. firewood etc, don’t have overhanging trees, if you do trim them away from the home. Keep the perimeters of your home clear of clutter. Don’t store oil, paints and lawn mower fuel in sheds.

In conclusion keep all perimeters clear of cutter. Keep roof and gutters clear of debris. Do not store any type of fuel in sheds. These are the simple things you can do to protect yourself from ember attack.

Working on roofs for most of my life I have seen it all – wood stacked high against wooden fences of the homes, trees completely surrounding and overhanging the home, leaves and debris over the roof and gutters full of leaves, pine needles 2ft thick on a tiled roof, this is combustible fuel for embers to attack your home.

Moving to the inside of the home I have seen newspapers and magazines stacked high both sides of the hallway, give yourself a chance get rid of the clutter no matter where it may be.

Read Blogs on this site “Understanding BAL Ratings” and a previous Blog “Bushfire Season”.

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