If you live in a built-up area on the edge of grassland - whether it's open grassland, parks, paddocks or reserves - you could be impacted by grassfire this summer.DO:
- Monitor weather conditions and warnings
- If a fire starts, quickly move one or two streets away from the fenceline or park boundary
- Act early, even if you haven’t received a warning
- Keep the roads clear so emergency services can respond.
- Don’t try and leave by road - smoke and traffic congestion will make it difficult to get out
- If a fire starts, don’t wait to receive a warning before moving one or two streets away from the fire.
- Don’t try to put out a fire. Move to safety and call Triple Zero (000)
How to prepare before a fire:
Prepare your property: Reduce the risk of fire damage to your property by mowing your lawn and clearing grass, scrub and other vegetation from around your home. Store anything flammable, such as firewood, rubbish and gas bottles away from your house and fences. See more tips for what else you can do to prepare your home for fire.
Know what to do: Talk to your friends, neighbours and family about how you will know if a fire starts, listen to the radio or check the VicEmergency app, decide on how you will stay in touch (mobile phone), and what you’ll do if a fire starts (move one or two streets away).
Monitor weather conditions: It’s up to you to stay informed. Always keep an eye on the conditions outside - you may be aware of a fire before emergency services. If you see smoke or flames, call Triple Zero (000).
Check Fire Danger Ratings daily: Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. The higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions. To check the ratings for your local area, go to emergency.vic.gov.au, download the VicEmergency app, or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226. If you have a hearing or speech impairment contact the VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677. Or if you don’t speak English, call 131 450 for translated information from the VicEmergency Hotline.
What to expect:
If there's a fire nearby, you can expect:
Lots of smoke: Smoke makes it hard to see and can cause breathing difficulties. Stay indoors and keep all windows and doors closed, place towels or blankets around the bottom of doors and window sills and don’t use your air conditioner. Remember, smoke may lead to traffic congestion and accidents so stay off the roads.
Radiant heat: Radiant heat is the heat created by a fire. If there's a fire close by, it's important to cover up any exposed skin because radiant heat can cause serious injury or death. Wear a wide brimmed hat, eye and face protection, a long sleeved shirt, long pants and socks all made from natural fibres such as cotton or wool, and sturdy leather boots and gloves. Distance is the best protection against radiant heat, so it’s important to move one or two streets away from the fire.