As the weather heats up and winter rains come to an end, the Collie community is being encouraged to start preparing for bushfire season early.
Officially beginning November 1, The Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions have begun prescribed burning and educating Australians in an effort to reduce the chances of the region experiencing a disastrous summer.
DFES acting area officer Paul Dennison pushed for regional and rural communities in the South-West to not wait for disaster to hit to know what to do.
“We say the season starts in November but we advise people to take care all year round,” he said.
“People should really start making preparations now, especially in a bushfire prone region like Collie.
“Making preparations means preparing your property, so things like cleaning up debris from around your property, pruning trees, cleaning out gutters and wood piles.
“Anything that could be fuel for fire really needs to be managed.”
Mr Dennison also highlighted the need for families and homes to have a bushfire plan ready, prepared and known by all members of the household before danger occurs.
“It’s not about waiting until a fire happens before you start to plan what you’re going to do,” he said.
“What we don’t want to see happen is people leaving it to when a fire is happening, that creates indecision which leads to problems.”
While it’s recommended that bushfire plans should be specific to the property and household, DFES has a number of guidelines and tips on how to create one and prepare for bush fire season on their website.
DBCA has also been helping prepare for the bushfire season as they commence prescribed burning throughout the region.
Prescribed burns begin each year in spring from September to November and aim to mitigate the severity of bushfire by reducing the build-up of fuel loads, maintain biodiversity and rehabilitate vegetation.