THIS year’s bushfire season has the potential to be especially dangerous according to a leading fire experts.
They warn that recent weather patterns have created conditions that dramatically increase the chance of major bushfires.
Those include three years of increased rain which have promoted rapid vegetation growth, followed by a more recent dry winter creating a tinderbox scenario.
That means any incident of lightning, which is the cause of around 50 per cent of bushfires in Australia, could easily spark rapidly spreading fires over wide areas.
In addition, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has recently forecast that the southern hemisphere is entering into an El Niño climate cycle and has warned of a “surge in global temperatures”.
Here are four tips for getting ready for bushfire season:
- Clean out gutters
Throughout the year leaves and other vegetation can easily accumulate in gutters around your house.
This is all fuel for a potential fire and can easily be sparked by extremely hot embers that often carry many kilometres on the wind from the main location of a raging bushfire. Cleaning gutters is one of the main ways to ensure that your house does not catch fire in a bushfire situation.
- Water tank ready
After clearing the gutters, it would be a good idea to hose them with water, which reduces the chances of hot embers sparking a fire. This should also prompt you to ensure you have a reliable supply of water should it be needed to dampen down approaching flames. It is also important to have sturdy hoses easily available which can reach all around your property.
- Clear Bushland
As much as possible, try to create a ‘buffer zone’ between local bushland and your property.
- Evacuation plan
Make sure you and your family have a clear and concise plan to evacuate if conditions become too dangerous. Think carefully about when you would decide to escape, which route you would take and what the back-up option would be.