Tag Archives: bushfire warrandyte

Clean up and clear out

WARRANDYTE RESIDENTS are being urged to start their fire preparation early and identify hazards on their properties to minimise fire risk this season.

Victoria has experienced a dry winter and it is likely to remain dry and warm for the next three months, this means we could see a very early fire season.

Council encourages residents to prepare for the upcoming fire season, using spring as a great time to start preparations.

“It is vital that all residents living within bushfire prone areas have an emergency plan in place — residents can find more information about developing their plan on Council’s website,” said Manningham Mayor, Cr Michelle Kleinert.

Captain of Warrandyte CFA Adrian Mullens said because Warrandyte has not experienced a bad bushfire for several years many residents are getting complacent.

“Warrandyte and North Warrandyte are up there in terms of fire risk, we have just been lucky on I don’t know how many occasions… if the 2014 fire in Flannary Court had got over Tindalls road, Warrandyte would be gone,” he told the Diary.

Both Manningham and Nillumbik councils are providing vouchers to allow residents to dispose of green waste in the lead up to summer.

Nillumbik Shire Mayor Cr Peter Clarke said Council is preparing for the fire season with bushfire mitigation plans underway, this includes roadside clearing and mowing, tree management and native vegetation clearing.

“Residents can help reduce the impact of fire and storm damage by conducting regular maintenance of their property, including clearing long grass, timber and wood stores, gutters and drains,” Cr Clarke said.

“We have also introduced green waste vouchers, giving residents the flexibility to recycle garden materials and vegetation at the Recycling and Recovery Centre in Plenty at a convenient time throughout the year.”

The new Nillumbik green waste vouchers are for one cubic metre of domestic green waste like prunings, garden clippings, leaves or grass or one level 6 x 4m sized trailer load or less — loads larger than this will require two vouchers.

Cr Kleinert says garden waste vouchers are now available for Manningham residents, free of charge and can be used from September through to the end of November.

“Clearing and removing excess vegetation from properties is an important part of reducing bushfire risk, she said.

Vouchers for four standard trailer loads can be redeemed on Sundays between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm at Manningham’s Garden Waste Recycle Centre on the corner of Blackburn and Websters Road, Templestowe.

For branches and prunings, Manningham residents also have the option of exchanging one hard rubbish collection for a bundled green waste collection.

The State government are urging residents to check their insurance policies to ensure they are sufficiently covered for emergencies such as bushfire and storm.

Be Ready Warrandyte will be holding a seminar on October 26 to discuss fire-safe building materials following a report from the Great Ocean Road fire in 2015 as well as insurance and the CFA’s Leave Early message — more information in the October Diary.

Visit insureit.vic.gov.au for information about the ‘Insure It.It’s worth It’ campaign.

Visit the CFA website for more ideas and information to help prepare and protect yourself and your property this bushfire season.

Council green waste visit manningham.vic.gov.au or nillumbik.vic.gov.au/greenwastevouchers

Bushfire scenario event is a great success

What is it like to survive a bush fire? About 100 people learnt (the easy way) from those who found out the hard way as part of the Be Ready Warrandyte initiative.

The audience heard from bush fire survivors, Joff Manders, who lived through bush fires in Warrandyte in the 1960s, Steve Pascoe, a resident of Strathewen who lost his whole community on Black Saturday, and Julia Robertson, who lost her home in Flannery Court two years ago.

A realistic scenario was played out across the evening, using a timeline of events, from ignition to recovery, of a fire sweeping through Warrandyte.

The audience heard a frank description of what living through such an event was like, overlayed with ideas and advice on how to make effective choices at every turn.

School principals, the police and fire brigade and other community leaders offered insight into the policy and procedures local institutions follow to keep the community safe.

Quinton’s IGA’s Julie Quintin reminded residents the supermarket would not necessarily be available as a place of refuge as her policy is to evacuate the store to keep her staff safe in the event of a major incident.

“You may turn up to see the lights on and the generator running, but it will be locked up and you won’t have access,” she said.

Warrandyte High School principal Dr Steven Parkin said local schools have been given funding to bolster the school’s fire refuges against bush fire impact.

Sue Dyos, acting principal of Anderson’s Creek Primary School, told parents the school had procedures to deal with such a scenario an it is safer to leave children at school.

“Don’t put yourself in danger to come and collect your kids, they will be in a safe place,” she said.

Local police sergeant Stewart Henderson discussed the likely conditions on the road in a fire and pointed out roads would be thick with smoke and clogged with traffic, making travel perilous.

Sgt Henderson also reminded the audience that once the fire had been through, if an area is deemed unsafe by the fire brigade you would not be allowed past roadblocks.

“So you may be gone for days,” he said.

Julia Robertson gave a gripping recount of her family’s experience during the Flannery Court fire, outlining all of the things she had wished she had done to be better prepared and how the loss of her home had impacted her.

“No one thinks it will happen to them, but it does,” she said.

She told how not knowing whether or not her family was alive were the worst hours of her life.

“I discovered a home is built from memories and relationships not from possessions,” she said.

CFA chief officer Craig Lapsley rounded out the evening with his insights into bush fire survival.

“Find two ways to find information… being informed gives you choices and helps you make better decisions,” he said.

Mr Lapsley praised Warrandyte for being a smart, connected and well resourced community and said Warrandyte as a community had the resilience to survive a major bush fire.

“Don’t be scared, but take it seriously, work out where the stresses are and stick together,” he said. Warrandyte Community Association president Dick Davies said the focus of the night was to examine how the community was going to be able to pick up the pieces if a bush fire comes through Warrandyte.

“If things do go wrong, if we do lose lots of houses, or even lives, you need to know what to expect. There will be social dislocation and social dysfunction and it’ll be up to the community to put that stuff right,” Mr Davies said.

Facilitator Steve Pascoe told the Diary since he spoke to the Warrandyte community two years ago there had been a major shift into leaving early and this event has been able to highlight what that means; that is having a plan of exactly where to go, what you need to take and how to cope with the aftermath.

“The strange mix of elation and guilt that you have survived where others have not – it is a tough thing to deal with,” he said.

A major theme of the night was that things don’t always go to plan and despite planning to leave, people may still get caught at home, so residents need to prepare for that eventuality.

Mr Lapsley told the Diary he believed the event was timely because November is the time to begin preparing for the bush fire season.

“Whatever you have to do on your property, if you don’t start in November, it’ll beat you,” he said.

Warrandyte Neighbourhood House is running a Fire Plan Workshop on November 26.