Bushfire Survival Plan
Thinking ‘I will leave early’ is not enough. You must Prepare to Act and Survive.
Your Plan will help you take action and avoid making last minute decisions that could prove deadly during a bushfire.
Why should you have a Bushfire Survival Plan?
- The majority of people who die during bushfires in South Australia are caught fleeing their homes at the last minute. Preparing your Plan allows you to identify the triggers to leave early or prepare to actively defend your property.
- Bushfires can be scary and overwhelming. This is not the time to be making major decisions. Preparing your Plan allows you to make major decisions in advance, and will help keep you focused and make better decisions in the event of a bushfire threat.
- During a bushfire, you will most likely be worried about your loved ones. A prepared and practised Bushfire Survival Plan will help family members know where others are and what they will be doing.
- You might find at the last minute that you don’t have the clothing, equipment or resources to enact your plan to leave early or stay and defend. A prepared and practised Bushfire Survival Plan will help you to identify the resources you need.
- Bushfires can be unpredictable and the best laid plans can go wrong. A well prepared Plan will include contingencies and back-ups if your primary Plan fails. A written and practised Bushfire Survival Plan is the most important part of your preparation to survive a bushfire.
The City of Mitcham has also prepared a detailed Bushfire Prevention Plan to protect life and reduce the impact of bushfires on property and the environment within the City of Mitcham.
Protect Your Pets in Emergencies
- Include pets in your survival plan
- Prepare your pet emergency kit
- Practice your plan
Prepare Your Pet Emergency Kit
The kit should include:
- Registration certificates
- Vaccination certificates
- Transportation equipment (cages/carriers/crates/horse floats etc)
- Cat litter and tray
- Poo bags for dogs
- ID tag (including pets name and your mobile phone number), collars, leads, harnesses, saddles etc
- Food and water bowls, and at least one week’s supply of non-refrigerated food
- Medications and clear instructions for treatment of any medical conditions
- Blankets/bedding/nesting material
- Toys/enrichment devices
- Photograph of your pets (including names) in sealed plastic bags
- Contact details for your vet, local animal shelter, local council and alternative animal accommodation facility
Visit rspcasa.org.au/information/petemergencyplan to start planning today.
It Is Your Responsibility
Bushfire prevention is a year round responsibility. It is far more than a weekend clean-up just prior to the bushfire season.
Property owners who neglect their responsibility by not completing the necessary fire prevention hazard reduction work prior to the start of the Fire Danger Season may be issued with a $315 expiation notice (Section 105F Notice under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005).
The necessary work will then be completed by Council's contractors with all costs borne by the property owner.
Bushfire Safer Places
If you live, work or travel in an area where bushfires can occur, and your Bushfire Survival Plan is to leave early, on or before a bad fire day, you need to be aware of where you can relocate to.
The CFS has developed a hierarchy of places that can offer relative safety from bushfire. They are broken into two categories, and are called Bushfire Safer Places and Last Resort Refuges. It is important that you know what each of these are, where they are, and what risk you may be exposed to if you use one of these options during a bushfire.
The CFS provides a list of where to relocate to on days of Severe, Extreme and Catastrophic fire weather including Last Resort Refuges. Visit http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp and follow the link 'Bushfire SAFER Places' located at the bottom of the page.
Clear access will allow for the safe movement of fire fighting vehicles. Gateways should be at least three metres wide. Roadways need a well-compacted surface with slopes no greater than one metre rise for every four metres, with solid crossings over permanent waterways. Turn areas of 25 metres in diameter are necessary.
Parking in the Hills
Where and how you park your vehicle is an issue in the hills all year round but more so during the bushfire season.
Lives and homes are put at risk if access to fire tracks or the most direct route to a fire is impeded by thoughtlessly parked cars obstructing traffic.
When you park your vehicle ensure that there is at least three metres of road clearance alongside your car which will allow other vehicles to pass. This is required by law and you may save a life!
Free Green Organics Dumping
The City of Mitcham assists residents preparing their property for the bushfire season by holding free green organics drop-off days at the Lynton Green Organics Drop-off Facility. Click here for more information on opening times and dates.
How Does Council Prepare for the Bushfire Season?
The City of Mitcham continues to reduce fuel loads before and during the Fire Danger Season throughout the hills by a combination of cutting out vegetation, burning of debris on-site and extensive brush cutting.
Council has a number of fire management plans with extensive fuel break and fire track recommendations which Council is implementing.
The City of Mitcham has approximately 500 hectares of bushland and road reserves in the Mitcham hills and maintains a fire track network of over 15 kilometres in length.
Council continues to construct and maintain fuel breaks and fire tracks on reserves in the Mitcham hills A regular maintenance program involves:
- Controlling weeds.
- Pruning large trees (remove low hanging foliage).
- Thinning-out native vegetation (with government approval).
- Extensive brush cutting.
- Prescribed burning.
Fuel breaks still contain vegetation and large trees to reduce soil erosion, further weed invasion and provide habitat for native animals.
Sheoak Road Fire Break
The City of Mitcham developed a strategic fire break along Sheoak Road with funding assistance from Federal and State Government grants under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
The strategic fire break - a 3.2 kilometre section of Sheoak Road, east of Pony Ridge Road has been established by selectively thinning vegetation, controlling weeds, control burns and extensive brush cutting.
The roadside now appears 'more open' - sight lines for motorists have been improved and grassy fuels have been reduced in height through brush cutting. Council is committed to on-going maintenance, including sensitive weed control in remnant native vegetation.
The work has been undertaken in accordance with approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and the 'Sheoak Road Vegetation Management Plan, August 2008' approved under the Native Vegetation Act 1991.
Prescribed burning is only one fuel load reduction tool. Burning can cause a lot of disturbance by promoting weed growth after a fire. Repeated fires in one area will favour some native species and eliminate others which require long periods between fire events.
Prescribed burning requires careful planning and coordination with Council staff, CFS volunteers and equipment. Factors including vegetation and weather conditions, consultation with the community as well as the availability of CFS volunteers and trucks determine if a burn can be undertaken.
To ensure Council has fuel breaks in place for the Fire Danger Season alternative fuel load reduction methods including weed control, pruning large trees, thinning-out native vegetation and extensive brush cutting are used in addition to prescribed burning.
Do You Live in a High Risk Area?
Councils High Fire Risk area is bounded by the following:
West: South Road
North: Ayliffes Road, Fiveash Drive, Goodwood Road, O'Neil Street, Strathcoma Avenue, Barretts Road, Belair Road, Blythewood Road, Old Belair Road, Taylors Road, Fullarton Road, Delamere Avenue, Waite Road, Cross Road.
East: South Eastern Freeway, Councils eastern boundary.
South: Sturt River
The CFS cannot guarantee the presence of a fire fighting vehicle and crew to protect every home in a major bushfire. It is therefore extremely important to plan for your family's safety and be self-reliant. Making the right decision about whether to stay or go is critical for your own safety and that of your family.
For further information about the CFS visit the CFS website.
CFS Community Education Initiatives
Community Education Unit
Phone: 8463 4062
Mains-fed electricity can be interrupted due to a fault, damage to the network caused by fire, or because supply has been turned off to minimise the risk of fire ignition. (Legislation introduced after the Ash Wednesday bushfires allows SA Power Networks to turn off power to reduce the possibility of a fire starting from the interaction of the environment with the distribution network).
People living or working in bushfire risk areas who are planning to stay and fight a fire, should consider alternative sources of power for pumping water and operating fire-fighting equipment.
For further information visit SA Power Networks.
Bushfire Prevention is a Legal Requirement
For information and advice on protecting your property from bushfire, call Anthony Anderson on 8372 8888.