Today marks the official start of the bushfire season, with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) urging the community to ensure they are prepared for what is expected to be a challenging summer.
DFES Assistant Commissioner Metropolitan Brad Delavale said it is critical everyone is prepared.
“Last season there were over 1,700 fires in the Metropolitan area, burning through more than 1,000 hectares,” Assistant Commissioner Delavale said.
“On a hot and windy day, it only takes one bushfire to spark and rapidly spread, potentially causing lifelong heartache.
“A bushfire can be one of most traumatic events you will experience in your life, with day turning to night, smoke burning your eyes and it sounding like the roar of a jet engine going over.”
Assistant Commissioner Delavale said it is vital people take five minutes for a Fire Chat to discuss their bushfire plan and decide if they will leave early or stay and defend.
“DFES has developed a suite of tools to step people through their Fire Chat and the development of a bushfire survival plan.
“Anyone who lives near bushland needs to have a Fire Chat with their family and housemates to determine when you will know to leave, where you will go and which way you will go if you’re threatened by a bushfire.
“The single biggest killer is indecision - knowing what to do in a bushfire is vital.”
Other key tasks include preparing your property by trimming trees, cutting long grass, clearing gutters and removing any debris from around your home and packing an emergency kit.
Preparing for bushfires is a team effort, and everyone needs to play their part.
Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au/prepare to download Fire Chat and create your bushfire plan today.