Australia — Central Victorians are beginning to follow the mantra of Prepare. Act. Survive.
Local fire safety officers have reported huge numbers attending fire safety meetings.
Bendigo CFA acting manager of community safety Ben Trevena said the turnout this year highlighted an increased awareness about the dangers of bushfires.
Mr Trevena said more than 300 people attended a meeting in Eaglehawk last month – a trend he
said was common throughout the region.
We are getting 200 people to meetings where you used to be able to count the number of attendees on one hand.
In September The Advertiser reported on the local CFAs concern about apathy in the community after poor turnouts at bushfire meetings.
At one fire safety meeting in Eaglehawk – one of the states 52 fire hotspots for the season – just five members of the public turned up.
Acting community education co-ordinator Michelle Cannon said there had been 90 FireReady meetings in region two since August, double the number for the whole of last season.
Across the state, Victorians have shown they are more prepared for bushfires than ever before.
Last week the CFA revealed that a record number of people had attended preparedness meetings.
CFA chief executive Mick Bourke said the CFAs FireReady Victoria meetings had had 44,000 attendees since June – more than a 50 per cent increase on the last fire season.
As a result of the increased awareness, the CFA has scheduled an additional 130 FireReady meetings during the next two months.
The extra meetings boost the season tally to 1730, a 57 per cent increase on the 2008-09 fire season. CFA urges all residents, workers and holidaymakers in bushfire-prone areas to develop a bushfire survival plan today, he said.
FireReady sessions are designed to help reduce the loss of lives and homes in bushfires.
To get a FireReady kit, learn more about CFAs bushfire preparedness programs or find the next meeting, visit cfa.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 240 667.