With hot and dry conditions impacting much of the State, the recently launched DFES bushfire awareness campaign is urging Western Australians to recognise their personal bushfire risk and make a plan before a fire threatens them.
Ninety percent of our State is bushfire prone, yet only 34 per cent of Western Australian (WA) households understand they are personally at risk from bushfire.
Supported by the State Government, the I am Fire campaign aims to educate the community about the life-threatening nature of bushfires, emphasising that even if you don’t live in the bush, a bushfire can still reach your home.
Fire is personified in the advertising, boasting that it can travel up to 25 kilometres per hour and send burning embers kilometres ahead of a fire front. A stronger tone is used in the campaign to capture the attention of the 89% of WA households who have not spoken to their family about a bushfire plan.
The campaign’s clear message to the community is ‘Fire has a plan. You need one too.’ People need to think about their risk and ensure they have a bushfire plan in place. Developing a plan involves making three simple, lifesaving decisions: when you will leave, where you will go and which way you will go when a bushfire threatens.
As a number of bushfires burn throughout WA and the eastern states, Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm has warned Western Australians to be prepared and act quickly to stay safe.
“Already this summer we’ve seen several large scale fires intensify to dangerous levels within a matter of hours in the southern parts of the State, putting emergency services to the test and affecting thousands of households,” Commissioner Klemm cautioned.
“We’ve also deployed 15 teams of volunteer and career personnel to assist emergency services in New South Wales and Queensland to help them battle against some brutal fires – the intensity of these disasters is a stark reminder of the very real dangers of bushfire.”
“All Western Australians need to take responsibility for their safety by being prepared because as the campaign states, fire has a plan so you need one too.”
The campaign was launched in December at Optus Stadium with a demonstration of just how quickly an out of control bushfire can move. West Coast Eagles player Jack Petruccelle raced against footage of fire travelling at 25 kilometres an hour on the screens around the oval and, despite his best efforts, demonstrated that even one of the fastest people in AFL can’t outrun bushfire.
“We know that leaving at the last minute when a fire approaches can end in tragedy no matter how young, fit and able you are – Jack gave the fire a run for its money, but he couldn’t outrun it in the end,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“Having a clear bushfire plan in place is essential and leaving early if a bushfire threatens your area will always be the safest option for you and your household.”
Visit the Fire Chat website to make your plan today.