Yarra Ranges community members are being urged to have an up to date bushfire survival plan prior to the commencement of the Fire Danger Period.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has declared the Fire Danger Period (FDP) for Yarra Ranges to commence from 1am on Monday, 16 December 2019. It will remain enforced until 1am on 1 May 2020, unless revoked earlier.
For this FDP, the Yarra Glen community will see a change to their Neighbourhood Safer Place – Bushfire Place of Last Resort (NSP – BPLR) location at the Yarra Valley Racing Centre.
The NSP-BPLR is now the Yarra Valley Racing Centre car park at the south westerly corner of the precinct, rather than the track itself, which allows 24-hour access for the community in the event that they need to use the site as a last resort option during a bushfire incident.
The Yarra Valley Racing Centre carpark is one of 19 NSP – BPLR across the Yarra Ranges, with 18 of those remaining in the same locations as last year. The sites are places of last resort in the event personal bushfire survival plans fail.
Ryrie Ward Councillor, Fiona McAllister said, “Selecting the locations of our Neighbourhood Safer Places are decisions that aren’t made lightly.”
“They are last resort options because they do not guarantee protection. It’s imperative that everyone has their own fire plan should there be an emergency, but also have an awareness of the location of their nearest NSP.
“I’d like to thank both the Yarra Valley Racing Club and the RACV Country Club in Healesville for their ongoing commitment to making their sites available to residents for this purpose.”
Representatives from Yarra Glen Fire Brigade were also strongly urged that the community needed to still activate their fire plans where necessary and not rely on their NSP – BPLR.
CFA Manager Community Safety, North East Region, Tammy Garrett said that the safest place to be is out of high-risk bushfire areas on days of increased fire danger.
“We encourage the community to ensure that they have a bushfire survival plan, and that their plans are updated every season,” Ms Garrett said.
“Everyone should have a bushfire survival plan and should practice it. It is also critical that people have a backup plan should their primary plan fail.”
During the Fire Danger Period no open air burning is permitted without a permit, while Council officers are also inspecting properties across the municipality as part of Council’s Fire Hazard Inspection Program.
Yarra Ranges community members can find out where their nearest NSP is by visiting https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Environment/Fire-and-emergencies/Community-FireRefuge-Neighbourhood-Safer-Places.
Extensive bushfire planning resources can also be found on the CFA website.