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is your home bushfire ready?

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smokey_newsWe have all witnessed the devastation and destruction the bushfires have caused across the state. We are extremely grateful for the fire fighting men and women who have braved these blazes and given up their time to ensure the community is kept safe.

It should be remembered that it hasn’t even been 12 months since we experienced catastrophic fire conditions across the Riverina. All photos on this page are taken as fires surrounded Wagga Wagga in January 2013. Unfortunately this Summer is shaping up to be much the same or even worse, so the importance of preparing your home and family in the event of a bushfire has never been more vital. The more you prepare your property the better the chance it will survive a bushfire.

Are you and your family at risk?

  • Do you live near bush land?
  • Does your local area have a bushfire history?
  • Do you have trees and shrubs within 20 metres of your house?
  • Is your house built on a slope?

If you answered yes to any of the above you need to ensure you have an up-to-date bushfire survival plan in place. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has produced a comprehensive booklet outlining ways to prepare you and your family for bushfires. Download your copy of the Bushfire Survival Plan here.

How to ensure your home is bush fire ready

  • Cut long grass and dense scrub. Remove dead material.
  • Remove all rubbish and rake up leaf litter, twigs, bark and material that may catch fire.
  • Maintain a minimum two metre gap between your house and tree branches. Make sure that no trees overhang the house.
  • Prune lower branches (up to two metres off the ground) to stop a fire on the ground spreading to the canopy of the trees.
  • Do not clump shrubs – ensure there is a gap. Shrubs should be planted at a distance of at least three times their height at maturity from buildings.

If you were forced to evacuate your home would you be ready?

It is a good idea to have all your important documents and photos in the one spot, so if you are forced to evacuate in a hurry you can easily gather these items.

Smoke haze over Wagga Jan 2013

Above: Smoke haze over Wagga Wagga, 40+ degrees and high winds. January 2013. Click the image to open the full panorama.


Above: The intensity of the wind can be seen in the detail of the gum trees that line the Murrumidgee. January 2013.


Above: Firemen respond quickly to a grass fire in Estella, January 2013