Claire and Steve Garwin know all too well how important it is to be prepared for bushfire season well before the hot dry weather arrives. The Baskerville couple had 90 percent of their property destroyed earlier this year when the devastating Brigadoon bushfire swept through their property. Although they were not home at the time Mrs Garwin said the severity of the fire had left them stunned and this highlighted just how important it was to be well prepared.
I don’t think you can ever fully comprehend the importance of bushfire preparation until you experience the magnitude of what a fire can do, Mrs Garwin said. My advice to others is to prepare now and don’t wait until a fire starts to review your bushfire preparations. Mrs Garwin said she and her husband had thought they were ready for last year’s fire season but realised there were lots of ways they could improve their preparations. This year we’ve started early, cutting down trees, trimming back branches, clearing tall grass near our home and reducing other fire hazards around our property, she said.
We have good arrangements with our neighbours so if a fire starts our street will be well prepared. I joined a bushfire ready group after the fire and we’ve already had two meetings this season.
FESA Chief Operations Officer Craig Hynes said anyone that lived near or in bush needed to be well prepared. If you live near a park or reserve in the metropolitan area you could be threatened by a bushfire, Mr Hynes said. It is a very real risk, and you need to prepare your home and develop a bushfire survival plan, so you can act during a bushfire to make sure you survive. The more you prepare your house, the better chance you and your home will survive.
The Prepare. Act. Survive. guide is available on FESA’s website at www.fesa.wa.gov.au and outlines how you can make sure you are bushfire ready this year.