The summer of 2019/2020 has seen the worst fires in our country’s history. In unrelenting drought and extreme temperatures, it was prime bush fire conditions. With over 10 million hectares and 2,000 homes destroyed it was a tragic, record breaking season. Whilst we may not be able to control the weather, we need to ensure we do everything we can to make our properties safe from the threat of bushfire.
The unprecedented destruction of this bushfire season saw not only remote, rural areas affected but fires came extremely close to large communities and outlying suburbs. This again, reinforces the need for everybody to be vigilant about bushfire management at home.
Keeping your property free from fallen, loose, dry or dead debris such as limbs, leaves and sticks is the most effective way to reduce the risk of bushfire reaching your property.
A professional arborist can help manage large trees, keeping them clean, tidy and free of dead, dangerous limbs. Arborist can also remove out of control shrubs and other vegetation. A professional arborist can advise you on any dangerous trees that may need removing to help reduce leaf litter, or other falling debris.
These measures can not only keep the ground clear and reduce fire hazards but help keep gutters and outdoor living areas clean and tidy. Sparks from bushfires can travel a long way if the wind is high so keeping all outdoor areas clean is essential in bushfire prevention.
Keeping your property clean of sticks and other dry matter is another essential step. Arborist/tree services can help dispose of any amount of green waste material.
For rural people, the answer to this year’s bushfire crisis is simple: back burn when the weather is cooler and wetter to create firebreaks. The problem is that this is easier said than done. Even in the winter, it is not always possible to control a fire and prevent it from burning out of control. Fire management specialists must put enormous effort in on the ground to make sure that the fire only burns in a specific area and doesn’t start spreading out into the surrounding countryside. This requires constant monitoring.
Officials burning fires near communities must also often wait for the wind to blow in the right direction, away from towns and cities, not towards them. What this means is that most years, there is a very brief window in which fires can burn without harming air quality or the health of local people. Sometimes, like 2019/2020, there are very little opportunities at all.
Regular people, therefore, are having to take matters into their own hands by creating firebreaks around their properties in fire-prone regions. Removing or thinning out vegetation in certain areas and planting new trees further part can help prevent fires jumping containment lines.
Many experts now predict that fire reduction efforts will now concentrate in the suburbs of major cities. The priority will be to create buffer zones around communities that remove combustible material while at the same time, maintaining ecosystems and aesthetics. Once again, keeping your block free from dead, dry debris and keeping gutters and outdoor areas clean all help to prevent fires in suburban areas.
The Homeowners Bushfire Survival Manual: https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/BushfireManualsandGuides/DFES_Bushfire-Homeowners_Survival_Manual.pdf
Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0428 803 364 for a free bushfire assessment of your home or business.