- October 1 marks official start of bushfire season, but parts of State already affected
- Are You Bushfire Ready? campaign urges individuals to act now to be prepared
- Western Australians encouraged to take five minutes to have a 'Fire Chat' to plan for an emergency
Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan is calling on Western Australians to start treating a bushfire survival plan like putting on a seatbelt in a car - it should be second nature and could save your life.
Launching the official bushfire season today, Mr Logan said just 16 per cent of Western Australians have discussed with their families how they would survive a bushfire, according to research conducted by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
The Minister said the new DFES Fire Chat tool, available online and in hard copy, would help individuals and families create a simple survival plan in five minutes.
The Fire Chat questionnaire guides home owners through if they know when to leave, where they would go and which way they would go.
The Are You Bushfire Ready? campaign was launched today in Argyle, in the State's South-West, to highlight the importance of being prepared, having a plan and knowing how to implement it.
Argyle has been recognised as one of the State's leading bushfire-ready communities after it rallied together following a bushfire in 2015 to ensure it was better prepared if one struck again.
Their common-sense and practicality paid off in January this year when another significant bushfire threatened the town but no lives or homes were lost.
The Are You Bushfire Ready? advertising campaign, managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services with support from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, will be rolled out across key regional and urban fringe areas throughout the season.
The McGowan Labor Government is also committed to building bushfire resilience across local governments with $3.7 million allocated in this year's Budget to extending the rollout of Bushfire Risk Management Plans through much of the State.
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan:
"Western Australians face bushfires every year but we are not doing enough to be prepared.
"If you live in an area close to or surrounded by bush, you need to start treating a bushfire survival plan like putting on a seatbelt in your car.
"It has to become second nature.
"And just like buckling up, a little bit of time taken to be ready for what's coming could well save your life.
"This year's Fire Chat tool is a straight forward and easy-to-follow plan and I believe, if it's put in place, it will make a huge difference.
"Get it done and you can get on with life knowing that if a bushfire threatened, you can stay in control by following the plan instead of trying to think on-the-spot about what to do in an extremely stressful situation.
"There is also a significant responsibility on people to realise that if they fail to prepare their properties for a bushfire, not only are they putting themselves at risk of losing their homes or worse, they are creating a hazard for their neighbours and surrounding communities.
"I have seen first-hand with the Wallcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade, a little more than a month ago, how quickly a fire can take hold.
"A landowner had been trying to do the right thing by back burning, but they missed the opportunity to check their water pump before the burn and it failed when it was needed.
"Home owners cannot rely on having volunteers around every corner ready to risk their lives to stop a fire that may have been preventable.
"Western Australia is set for another challenging bushfire season, with the South-West recording its driest autumn in five years, so we need to recognise that we cannot outrun or outlast a bushfire, so we have to outsmart it."
Minister's office - 6552 6300