Huon Valley News

Are you bushfire prepared?

“It’s like something you think will never happen to you. It’s a bit like being burgled… it sort of violates what you see as being that safe space which is your home.” Peter Cooke from Heartfelt Wholefoods in Cygnet, is talking about his experience in the 2019 southern Tasmanian bushfires.

Many people in the Huon Valley were tragically affected by the fires of 2019. Peter’s experience is one of many.

As we are now in the warmest months of the season, being bushfire prepared is critical.

Dover Brigade Chief, Peter Smith, says that actions you can take now to prepare your home for a bushfire is making sure you’ve cleaned up. This means cutting back all dry grass and removing it from any buildings and firewood heaps.

“Grass fire can move very rapidly and can start a fire very easily. It’s a typical time of our firefighting calendar where we have a lot of rapid fire. So, now is the time, really, if you haven’t cleaned up yet, to do it now.”

Keeping our community safe from bushfire threat requires everyone to do their bit to remove fire hazards from their property and put a household disaster plan in place. We have been promoting bushfire preparedness since November last year through a scheduled social media campaign.

The key messages are: ‘Bushfire preparedness is a community effort which requires everyone to do their bit. Inaction puts your home, your neighbours and our firefighters at risk.’ ‘Do your 5 minute bushfire plan ‘. ‘Get to know your neighbours’.

When planning and preparing for a bushfire one of the most important things people can do is get to know their neighbours. When we build close connections with neighbours and with our immediate community, we can have the confidence that we have each other’s backs for when tough times come our way.

Communities that are able to help and support one another come through natural disasters a whole lot better. We can respect each other’s privacy yet still get to know each other.

A great way to connect with your community is by staying in the loop on what is happening at Council and around the Huon Valley. The Huon Valley Hub is a welcoming community space where you can connect with others and find out what groups are in the area. Our drop in times are Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.

We can all help protect our towns by taking responsibility for cleaning up our properties and supporting our neighbours to do the same.

Keep an eye out for more bushfire preparedness videos on our Facebook page.

And remember, if there is a fire, stay informed via the Tasmania Fire Service website, TasALERT, ABC Radio, BOM, the Tasmania Police website for road closures, TasNetworks for power outages, TasWater for water/sewer outages and connect with your neighbours.