South Coogee Bush Fire Brigade have been involved involved extensively with the massive fires that impacted the south-west in the past few weeks. These have have taken a heavy toll on many communities, and still remain an unresolved threat in many spots throughout the 72,000+ hectares that were burnt.
For those in the City of Cockburn it can be easy to think of bushfires as taking place in the country or Perth hills. However, there remains plenty of natural park-lands and bush-blocks within our great City, and these do have the potential to lead to intense bush fire activity. We have some great Volunteer and Career Fire Fighters who can respond to such events, but with limited resources and often multiple properties at risk you have a responsibility to yourself to ensure you have minimised the potential impact.
Last year as I watched a fire burn close to my property in Hammond Park I found myself busy with providing advice to my neighbours as to how they could do basic things to ensure that they wouldn’t be impacted by embers or smoke should the fire reach us (fortunately it didn’t). I was happy to help, and now the corner I live on is just a bit more prepared for the next fire should it take place.
However, you don’t have to live next to a Volunteer Bush Fire Fighter to find out preparedness; there are plenty of resources available online for you. The City of Cockburn has a great phone app ‘Disaster Aware’, which you can find for both Android and Apple OS. Information about this App and other resources available to Cockburn residents can be found at: http://cockburn.wa.gov.au/Council_Services/Emergency_Management/
The ABC also has a handy resource, which is definitely worth a read: http://www.abc.net.au/news/emergency/plan-for-an-emergency/bushfire/
The Volunteers at South Coogee Bush Fire Brigade remain committed to responding to emergencies throughout the State, and will likely be out many more times before the seasons change. The insight provided in the above-referenced sites will help to inform you about the measures you can take to decrease the risk of impact by fire, as well as guidance on what to do should you be faced with such a scenario.
Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to wave hi next time you see us drive by!
South Coogee Captain.