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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Canberrans urged to be storm and bushfire ready

ACT residents are being urged to be both storm and bushfire ready now, with severe weather events usually occurring in Canberra between September to March each year.

The ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) is encouraging the local community to repair previous storm damage now and prepare an emergency storm plan and kit.

Rolling out the government’s Be Storm Ready campaign this week, ACT Police and Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman reminded residents of the hard work of ACTSES volunteers during the January hailstorm, urging Canberrans to have a storm ready plan to assist them.

“ACTSES, ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Fire & Rescue and ACT Rural Fire Service worked together to respond to over 4,000 requests for assistance from the Canberra community [following the hailstorm],” he said.

“Our ACTSES volunteers work hard to help the Canberra community before, during and after major weather and storm events; you can help them by ensuring you and your property are storm ready.”

Other storm ready tips from the group include maintaining your yard and balcony by securing or removing items that could blow around in strong winds.

The ACT Government also warned residents not to become complacent when it comes to bushfire preparedness, especially following recent rainfall in the Territory.

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: September – November 2020 shows while recent rainfall removed the drought threat, grass fire risks may not become clear until the coming months. 

“The upcoming fire season will be driven by different climate conditions than the previous two fire seasons, according to the outlook released today by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre,” Mr Gentleman said on Tuesday 1 September.

“We saw wet weather across winter with more forecast for spring, increasing the risk of grass fires in the ACT.”

Acting Chief Officer ACT Rural Fire Service, Rohan Scott, said all Canberra residents, not just those living in bushfire-prone areas, should be reviewing their Bushfire Survival Plans now.

“For the outlook period, normal fire conditions are expected, even though the ACT received sufficient rainfall to remove the residual drought that was posing a raised forest fire threat for the coming fire season,” he said.

“As the effect of the rains on grass fire risk may not become clear until the end of spring or early summer, our level of preparedness will remain high; we will continue to monitor conditions over the coming months and will take action to mitigate those risks.”

For more information on being bushfire ready, visit esa.act.gov.au

Calling future firefighters

ACT Fire & Rescue (ACTF&R) recruitment applications officially opened on 31 August, seeking intelligent, fit and community focused men and women to apply.

ACTF&R Acting Chief Officer, Chris Zeithlhofer, said an ACTF&R firefighting career is varied and fulfilling.

“If you are looking for a job that will challenge you, where you will be supported and provide a rewarding and flexible lifestyle, a career as a firefighter could be right for you,” he said.

“It’s important candidates prepare themselves as best they can for the recruitment process. A range of video resources and information on how to best prepare for the fitness and aptitude tests are available on the ACT Fire & Rescue website.”

For more information on applying for a position, visit esa.act.gov.au/join-us-careers/fire-rescue/firefighter-recruitment

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