High fuel load warning

High fuel load warning

214
Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade senior fire fighter Bob Littmann with the brigade’s new recruits. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Members at Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade are ready for this upcoming fire season, are you?

Training once a week like clockwork, the volunteers have been preparing themselves for the upcoming season, which they hope will be as uneventful as the past two years.

Brigade captain Aaron Kain said some residents in the community were prepared for the season, however other properties still contained high fuel loads with minimal access for emergency vehicles.

“It is absolutely critical that people prepare their properties now prior to summer,” he said.

“It is simply too late to start preparing come December, January or even February.”

He suggested residents trim trees that surround their homes, whipper snip long grass that may surround the home, property and assets of value and make sure their driveways are wide enough to fit fire appliances should they be needed.

“We need people to help us so we can help them if ever required,” he said.

“We are living in an extreme bushfire risk area and I don’t think the entire community is prepared, some are, but some definitely aren’t.”

The Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade has about 65 volunteers, after a recent successful recruit drive resulted in the graduation of 15 new recruits.

Brigade members have got a few hazard burns scheduled in preparation for the upcoming season, however they said they are just waiting on favourable weather conditions in order to conduct the burns safely and successfully.

“Every one of our volunteers have day jobs, families or hobbies just like everyone else but when the pager and SMS sounds for an alert, our volunteers drop what they are doing and get to the station as fast as they can to the best of their ability,” he said.

“In preparation for this season, I would recommend that everyone views the five-minute fire chat video on the DFES website, which provides essential information to anyone living in bushfire risk areas.”