Darlington residents used Bushfire Cleanup Day as an opportunity to help each other get prepared for what is expected to be a bad bushfire season.
Glen Road residents set aside the day to review their bushfire plans including making sure their properties were well prepared, tightening up their communication arrangements for the season, and what they would do to help each other if a fire occurred.
Bushfire Ready Group Street Coordinator Glenys Letchford said she believed it was important for people to involve others in their bushfire planning.
“Bushfires not only affect you and your family, they affect entire communities so it’s really important to involve your neighbours, family and friends in your planning and support each other throughout the season,” Mrs Letchford said.
“It’s through good communication with your neighbours and preparing your property that you can increase your bushfire safety and at the same time build great relationships with your neighbours.”
Mrs Letchford who has lived in Darlington for 15 years said the Victorian bushfire last year had brought home the importance of being bushfire prepared and meetings would be a regular occurrence for their street each year.
“We live in an area with lots of bushland so we all know just how important it is to be well prepared” she said.
“Today is our first planning session which we have needed to bring forward as the season is earlier than last year.
"After our bushfire meeting I’ve planned some nice refreshments for everyone to enjoy so it gives us the opportunity to enjoy a friendly catch up too.
FESA Chief Operations Officer Craig Hynes said preparing well before bushfire season was vital, especially with the season being ahead by six weeks.
“During a major bushfire, firefighters will be working to stop the fire but a fire truck may not be able to defend your home.”
“If your neighbours have not prepared they can put you at a great risk during a bushfire so it’s important to work together to make sure you are all prepared.
“Today’s cleanup day forms part of Bushfire Action Week, which has been developed to help and encourage people to prepare for bushfire season.
“Getting family and friends to help with your preparations helps you to break down tasks into small manageable ones making preparation more achievable and a lot more fun.”