Australians are being urged to work with their community, neighbours and friends to prepare for another tough bushfire season.
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said all parts of Australia were vulnerable because of dry conditions and people shouldn’t be complacent.
New South Wales authorities have brought forward the Bushfire Danger Period in 12 Local Government Areas two months early because of drought and above average winter temperatures.
“This season will be testing and everyone needs to be ready,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Last August (2018) we saw homes destroyed in New South Wales and again in North Queensland in November (2018) when the fire danger rating reached Catastrophic for the first time.
“It’s a reminder bushfires can strike at any time and we’ve got to be prepared.”
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre has advised that parts of South Eastern Queensland are expecting above normal fire risk.
The Southern Outlook will be issued in coming months but there are early indications of higher than average fire risks nationwide.
“The Coalition Government has committed more than $6.2 million on the next generation Australian Fire Danger Rating System so we have more accurate and local fire risk messaging,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We’ve also invested $1.9 million developing a robust Public Safety Mobile Broadband service for emergency service workers.
“We fund more than $14 million of the standing costs of the national aerial firefighting fleet, with aircraft ready to commence service in coming weeks.
“All Australians, especially those in high-risk areas, should have fire plans in place well ahead of time to make sure they and their families are safe.
“Also when people know their neighbours it saves lives and helps during the recovery.
“People wanting more information, including on how to plan and prepare, should contact their local fire service.”
Red Cross has tools and resources to help people prepare for disasters, available online.
Source: Australian Government