You live in an area that is threatened by bushfire and being fully prepared is essential for you, your family and community. WHAT IF THERE IS A BUSHFIRE ….. AND YOUR PLAN
DOESN’T WORK? With bushfire season upon us and following the very successful and informative fire series organised by Friends of Lorne and AIDA, we recently presented a free on-line session to explore what the reality of a bushfire in our area might be like. Everyone in the community was welcomed to register for the ‘What If?’ scenario session, which was based on a bushfire in the Aireys Inlet area to help us all to be better prepared. AIDA had planned to have the ‘What If?’ session live following this year’s AGM, but when the AGM had to be held as a Zoom event, we announced we would do the session on-line before the bushfire season. Happily we achieved this on November 27th – watch this space for a link to the recording of the event.
Most of us have ‘fire plans,’ but many are under the illusion that the agencies will always be able to ‘sort things out’. The reality is that you can’t rely on emergency services such as CFA, VicPol or Forest Fire Management for help during the first hours of a fire. They’re at the fire!. Bush Fire Commissions highlight the critical role of the local community in a fire emergency; a resilient community…not a reliant community.
The online workshop organised by AIDA was run by the highly experienced Jamie Mackenzie, a bushfire incident leadership expert who has worked in the area for 35 years. Jamie used his extensive real-life bushfire experiences to show why local capacity, skills and capability are essential elements of bush-fire preparedness.
Jamie’s 45-minute scenario of a bushfire in the Aireys Inlet area took us through what you might expect on a fire day with VicPol, Forest Fire Management Victoria, the Aireys CFA, Parks Victoria, DEWLP and Surf Coast Shire, who outlined their respective roles in such a bushfire situation and their contingency plans for traffic management, road closures and evacuation. There was ample time for questions afterwards.
The scenario setting was this:
…It’s a hot summer’s morning. The wind seems to have been increasing, and the temperature is higher than predicted. Some of your family are at the beach, some are shopping. The Great Ocean Road is busy as usual and in grid-lock in some places. The Vic Emergency App alerts you to a fire at the back of Aireys, you look in that direction and see smoke rising…
What’s your next step?
AIDA appreciates and acknowledges the support and assistance from Jamie Mackenzie, VicPol, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Aireys CFA, Parks Victoria, DEWLP and the Surf Coast Shire without whose support AIDA could not have organised this event.