Onus on residents to be fire-ready

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Albany’s volunteer bushfire brigades are placing the onus back on residents to avoid complacency and start preparing for a potentially dangerous bushfire season.

Despite the City of Albany’s 16 brigades being well prepared for the season ahead over the summer months with an influx of new volunteers, landholders in high-risk suburbs such as Torbay, Robinson, Little Grove, Big Grove, Goode Beach, Kalgan, King River and Redmond are being urged to plan ahead and prepare.

The City along with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services has planned a series of street meetings with key agencies to discuss fire preparation.

City of Albany community emergency services manager Brendan Gordon said residents also had responsibility.

“We urge residents in the communities to start acting now and we want to give as much information as we can so they can prepare themselves for the upcoming season,” he said.

“The brigades are also well under way in preparing themselves for the upcoming season doing burn-over drills and making sure the brigades are ready to respond when needed.

“At the moment with this wet weather the fire isn’t going to run really well; however it only takes a week or so to dry out then we are coming into the response phase.

“The more the landowners can do the brigades will have a chance to jump on the fires quickly and put them out.”

Mr Gordon said dangerous fuel loads would be left when the warmer weather arrives creating the potential for a busy fire season.

To combat that, a total of 40 new volunteer firefighters have joined and been trained in readiness

Volunteer firefighters from the City of Albany’s 16 brigades attended 124 bushfires last season equating to 3402 volunteer hours on the fire front.

So far they have attended 11 fires with more to come.

“That number of new volunteers is really encouraging to see and we have quite a few young members join,” Mr Gordon said. “If we could have that every year that would be absolutely awesome.”

The Redmond, South Stirling and Bornholm bushfire brigades have each received a new heavy-duty fire truck for the new season.

Redmond brigade captain Phil Dunkley said the new $380,000 truck would increase firefighting capacity and would be safer with features such as radiant heat shields, deluge system, in-cab breathing apparatus.

“These have an extra 1000L so obviously the more water we can carry the better as well,” he said.

The Little Grove community is invited to a bushfire information community chat next Thursday from 5pm at the Princess Royal Sailing Club while Bornholm Hall will host an emergency preparedness session on Sunday from 10am.

For more information contact the City on 6820 3999.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails