Staying safe this fire season

Published on 09 January 2023

The fire danger period for the City of Melton started on 9 January and will continue until the CFA declares the end of the period.  

The CFA has urged the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires. Bushfires start quickly, often without warning and can threaten lives and properties within minutes. 

The City of Melton’s beautiful natural landscape and closeness to the green wedge means we must be vigilant to the risk of fires. Homes and properties across our city back onto grasslands and bushland. 

Everyone has a part to play in preparing our homes and community for fire season. You don’t have to live in the country or on a large property to be at risk of fire.  

Keeping our yards and gutters clear and making sure you have a plan for your family in the event of a fire or evacuation is everyone’s responsibility.  

To find out more, download the VicEmergency app or visit Council’s fire safety website.  

You can also Country Fire Authority’s website for more details on preparing for fire season. 

 

Looking after yourself and your family on hot days 

Very hot days are dangerous even if they don’t trigger a fire.  

Over this fire season, make sure you drink enough water. Keep a cool water bottle on you all the time if you can.  

If you don’t have air conditioning at home, shopping centres or libraries are good public spaces for some respite. 

If you observe symptoms of heat-related illness, seek medical help. 

Preparing your property 

Lighting fires without a permit during the Fire Danger Period is prohibited, even for burning off. 

Try to remove any dead leaves and old tree branches and any flammable materials, old tyres and rubbish from your yard.  

If you can safely do so, also clear your gutters and roofs of leaf litter and cut back branches overhanging your home, shed or fences.  

It has been a very wet spring which means lots of long grass. Long grass dries quickly in hot weather. Mowing and clearing long grass helps remove kindling that can set off bushfires. 

Every household is eligible for two hard rubbish collections per year, or two drop offs at the Melton Recycling Facility.  

You can find out more at melton.vic.gov.au/services/waste-and-recycling  

Having a fire safety plan 

A fire safety plan will help your family know what they need to do during a fire. A plan will help you plan, prepare and act before and during a fire.  

Consider things like when should I leave, what should I take with me, what if my car won't start, and what if it's a school day. You should also think about what your plans are for your pets during an emergency.  

CFA has produced a Fire Ready Kit that can assist you in developing your Fire Survival Plan. 

Checking in on neighbours during heat events 

You should always look after yourself and your family first in an emergency.  

If you have time and capacity, try to check in your neighbours too. A neighbour living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition and pets are most at risk during a fire or on a very hot day.  

Offer to help family, friends and neighbours who are aged over 65 or have an illness by doing shopping or other errands so they can avoid the heat. 

Looking after wildlife 

On really hot days or when there’s fires or smoke nearby, wildlife might seek shelter in your backyard. They will often appear lethargic, disoriented or unresponsive.  

You can help wildlife on hot days by placing bowls of water outside to help keep them hydrated or spray water into trees and shrubs to create cooler niches that they can use to escape the heat. 

If you see wildlife resting in your garden, you should keep people and pets away and allow it to rest and recover. Noise should also be kept to a minimum. 

You should not try to capture or handle wildlife. This may put them under additional stress or you could injure them. They may also bite or scratch you.

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