BlazeAlert is a community phone-tree directory where people can self-register to participate. It provides a communication network among rural property owners to alert each other about fires in their area.
BlazeAlert is being piloted in the Mitchell Shire for the 2015/16 fire season, in conjunction with local CFA brigades. They will be conducting information and training sessions for registered BlazeAlerters.
For Mitchell Shire, Victoria, properties only:
Click here to register with BlazeAlert. You need to register on a computer, not on a mobile phone.
(We anticipate BlazeAlert expanding to other parts of Australia in late 2015.)
Click here to read the article BlazeAlert’s community and CFA link in the North Central Review on Tuesday 4 November 2014.
Please note: some of the links to other websites aren’t redirecting properly. We’re working on getting them fixed.
BlazeAid makes this information available on the understanding that you take reasonable care when using it.
BlazeAid does not accept responsibility for how you use or rely on the information on this site or for any actions you take in preparing for bushfires, or fighting bushfires as a result of the information contained on this page.
You should obtain further professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.
Plan and Be Prepared
BlazeAid encourages you to plan and prepare in advance of the bushfire season. Educating and informing yourself helps you to be ready to respond or evacuate in the event of a fire on or near your property.
Know your neighbours.
Fires don’t stop at boundary fences.
Part of your fire planning can include meeting with neighbours to discuss how you can improve fire safety and containment in the event of a fire.
The highest priority is protecting life, and keeping people safe.
Other things to think about and discuss include:
- Likely response times from your rural firefighting service
- Whether you intend to evacuate, or stay to fight the fire
- Areas you consider to be at risk (use topographical maps to identify areas)
- Which assets are the highest priority for you to protect
- Local knowledge of fire patterns and fire history in the area
- Recognising different landscapes in the area and understanding fire behaviour across different terrain.
- Easy identification of your property (eg GPS coordinates)
- Access to your property, and markers on internal gates for fire-truck access.
Some rural fire services have community education forums – scroll down to the links for each State and Territory’s websites.
Prepare Stock Containment Areas
“FARMERS in bushfire-prone areas have been urged to set up stock containment areas on their farms to protect livestock.” The Weekly Times, January 30, 2015
Click here to read: BlazeAid’s Kevin Butler proposes stock containment areas to protect against fires.
Slip on units
Slip on firefighting units can be placed on your ute during the fire season so that you’re ready to respond in the event of a fire, or prepared on days of high fire danger or total fire ban.
Godings, Whittlesea, is offering discounted prices on the Silvan SQF 400D ($3,100) and SQF 800D ($3,400) units, including firefighting hose and nozzle, and quick fill suction kit.
Click here to visit their website. (Prices correct at November 2014)
Click here to see their brochure on Selecta fire fighting units, and their
Be Prepared information.
Often, mobile phones cannot be relied on during an emergency. UHF radios are an alternative to mobile phones.
Autopro, Kilmore, Victoria (03 5782 1052) is offering special prices through a promotional pack (limited time). This is for Uniden UHF with 80 narrow band channels and a bonus antenna.
Click here to visit their Facebook page
Coastal Electronics, Penguin, Tasmania has provided expert advice on UHF units, and is offering discounted prices.
Click here to visit their website with special prices for people who contact them through this link.
Traffic Management Point Access
During a bushfire, Emergency Services Only Traffic Management Points are often established. Private fire fighting units and machinery must have a yellow “CFA Private Equipment Traffic Management Point Access Sticker” attached to the vehicle.
Click here to visit the CFA’s website for information on Traffic Management Point Access
Click here to read the Victorian CFA’s free guidelines to Operating Private Equipment at Fires 2014
Click here to download a printable application form for an access sticker.
What to wear
If you decide to stay and defend your property, or don’t have time to evacuate, it’s important to wear clothing that will help protect you. It can be very hot, and there could be sparks and embers flying around.
Wearing a T-shirt, shorts, and thongs places you in danger in a bushfire. You will be exposed to radiant heat, which is the biggest killer in a fire. Radiant heat causes heat exhaustion and heart failure.
The NSW Rural Fire Service recommends the following:
Loose fitting clothing made from natural fibres such as pure wool, heavy cotton drill or denim is important to protect you from injury. Don’t wear synthetic fabrics – they can melt or burn.
Recommended personal protective clothing includes:
- A wide brimmed hat or hard hat A hat can stop embers from dropping onto your head or down the back of your shirt.
- Glasses or goggles Eye coverings can protect your eyes against any smoke, embers and debris that may be in the air. [eg cotton scarf or handkerchief]
- Gloves Gloves can protect your hands from radiant heat, embers and debris that may be in the air or on anything you pick up around your yard when protecting your property. [Not rubber or synthetic]
- A mask or cloth (non-synthetic) Covering your nose and mouth, may protect you from inhaling smoke, ash and embers.
- A long-sleeved [collared] shirt made from thick cotton or wool is ideal (eg cotton drill work shirt) A shirt can stop embers from burning your skin and help protect you from radiant heat and debris.
- A pair of heavy cotton pants, such as denim jeans, oil free drill pants or cotton overalls Long pants can stop embers from burning your skin and help protect you from radiant heat and debris.
- Sturdy leather work boots or shoes along with a pair of woollen or cotton socks Sturdy leather footwear can stop embers from burning your skin, help protect you from radiant heat and debris.
Click here to visit the NSW RFS What to Wear information page.
Tastex, Tasmania is a not-for-profit Australian Disability Enterprise that sells coveralls. They are approved, hi-viz, fire retardant, orange coveralls with BlazeAlert printed on the back.
Click here to visit their website.
Double click here to see the Buy Australian Made website for information about Australian made bushfire clothing, boots, etc (Future products may include fire fighting helmets, equipment containers, gloves, fire hoses, slip on fire units.)
Click here to visit the Fair Air Mask website, where you can see inventor, Mike Taylor’s interview on WIN TV.
“Busy & demanding arvo fighting Katoomba fire; good to be able to save one house, love my Fair Air mask”
“so good to have my
#FairAir mask at Katoomba Fire in smoke for 5 hrs, intense for 2, others in team coughing bad, I was OK!”
Brent Hoare, 7 November 2014
National Disaster Assistance website
Click here to visit the Australian Government’s National Disaster Assistance website. It includes phone numbers and Twitter feeds for State and Territory emergency contacts.
Rural Fire Services in Australian States and Territories
We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the information provided by each State and Territory’s rural fire service.
To visit their websites, please click on the links below.
ACT – Rural Fire Service (RFS)
NSW – Rural Fire Service (RFS)
NT – Fire & Rescue Service
Qld – Rural Fire Service (RFS)
SA – Country Fire Service (CFS)
Tas – Tasmania Fire Service (TFS)
Vic – Country Fire Authority (CFA)
WA – Dept of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES)
Some of these Rural Fire organisations also have free publications to assist you in preparing for fires.
The Victorian CFA has produced Agricultural Fire Management Guidelines in its publication, On The Land (2011). Click here to download the free PDF booklet.
It includes information such as: preparing for fires, fire safety, understanding fire behaviour, restrictions on burning off, fuel breaks, what to do when a fire occurs, community information sessions, etc.
The CFS SA has produced Your guide to bushfire safety (2014). Click here to download the free PDF booklet.
It includes information such as: knowing your risk, keys to survival, knowledge of fires and terminology, knowing where to go on fire danger days, returning home after a fire, etc.
Click here to read the Victorian CFA’s free guidelines to Operating Private Equipment at Fires 2014
Click here to read the South Australian Country Fire Service and South Australian Farmers Federation’s free Joint Guidelines for Operating Farm Fire Units (June 2010)
The Tasmania Fire Service has produced the publication, Planning and Building in Bushfire-Prone Areas for Owners and Builders. (2013)
Click here to view the publication.
Each state and territory has its own regulations regarding the removal of trees and vegetation.
NSW – 10/50 vegetation clearing. New laws are now in place which help people prepare their homes for bush fires in NSW.
Click here to visit the RFS website to find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area.
SA – Click here to visit the CFS website for information about Native Vegetation Management.
Tasmania – Click here to visit the Tasmania Fire Service publication Planning and Building in Bushfire-Prone Areas for Owners and Builders. This includes information on vegetation in bushfire-prone areas.
Victoria – After the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire, the Victorian Government introduced the 10/30 Rule and the 10/50 Rule.
Click here to visit the DPI’s website for the 2 page fact sheet on managing vegetation around your property and boundaries.
Legislation – Rural Fire Services in Australian States and Territories
Vic – Click here Victorian Country Fire Authority Act, 1958
ACT – Click here ACT Emergencies Act, 2004
NSW – Click here NSW RFS Act, 1997
Qld – Click here Fire and Emergency Services Act, 1990
SA – Click here Fire and Emergency Services Act, 2005
Tas – Click here Fire Services Act, 1979
WA – Click here t Fire and Emergency Services Act, 1998