1 October usually marks the beginning of the ACT bushfire season, however with little rain over winter, this year’s bushfire season will start as of 1 September.
“Earlier in the month ACT ESA announced this year we can expect a hot and dry spring and summer and urged locals to prepare their properties and have a bushfire plan in case of emergencies. Today we also echo this message,” said Evoenergy Branch Manager Works Delivery Clinton McAlister.
“We are encouraging Canberrans to make sure they are taking steps to prepare their home by removing combustible material, cleaning gutters, checking roofs and have a Bushfire Survival Plan in place.
“Outside of the inconvenience of blackouts, when trees and other vegetation are too close to powerlines they pose a risk of bushfires.
“Trees in backyards are the responsibility of the property owner, so check to make sure your trees and vegetation are 1.5 metres clear from powerlines. If you rent, talk to your landlord or real estate agent to see who should be looking after the trees.
“If your vegetation is too close, contact an Evoenergy accredited tree surgeon, who is qualified to trim the trees safely. Don’t do it yourself, it is just too dangerous.
“It is also a good idea to have a home safety kit in case of a power outage. The kit should include a torch, batteries, battery-powered radio and first aid supplies.
“And if you see fallen powerlines or damaged electrical or gas infrastructure report it to Evoenergy 24 hour emergencies and faults line on 13 10 93. However, if you see a bushfire or sparking call 000 immediately,” concluded Clinton.
For more information on fire bans, weather warnings and fire danger ratings, visit the ACT Emergency Services Agency website at www.esa.act.gov.au and the NSW Rural Fire Service website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
These websites also include useful resources for bushfire safety such as a downloadable Bushfire Survival Plan.