South Australia is preparing to face a hotter, drier bushfire season as an oncoming El Nino event and positive Indian Ocean Dipole increase the risk of a dangerous summer.
Malinauskas Government representatives, the Country Fire Service (CFS), the SA State Emergency Service (SASES), the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) and other key stakeholders gathered for an Emergency Management Council meeting.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said the Government was already taking action to ensure the state was prepared for the bushfire season.
“We’re investing in the necessary equipment to ensure our firefighters are well equipped and we’re undertaking prescribed burns across the state,” he said.
Actions underway include:
- $27.6 million invested for the addition of five new aircraft to the CFS firefighting fleet, increasing the number from 26 to 31.
- Automatic Vehicle Location technology is being rolled out for firefighting and emergency service vehicles as part of a $12 million State Government investment.
- 25 prescribed burns undertaken, with plans for a further 31.
- A statewide advertising campaign encouraging South Australians to have a bushfire survival plan will be launched at the end of October.
- The fire danger season has been brought forward in six districts; Flinders, North East Pastoral, North West Pastoral and West Coast started on 16 October and will be followed by Mid North and York Peninsula districts on 1 November.
- Police Operation Nomad has begun, focusing on deliberate, reckless and negligent acts that may cause a bushfire.
Before summer arrives, the State Government and the CFS are reminding South Australians living in risk areas to ensure they have a bushfire survival plan.
“Preparing for the bushfire season is a shared responsibility and we encourage everyone to prepare your home and property, making sure that your bushfire survival plan is complete, and have a plan for what the whole family will do when a bad day approaches,” CFS Chief Officer Brett Loughlin said.
Key elements to include in a bushfire survival plan:
- Involve the whole family (including your pets) in bushfire preparations, to empower young people and ensure they understand what to do in an emergency.
- Check the Fire Danger Ratings each day and stay informed using multiple sources of emergency warning information (Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a bushfire could be if it did occur). It is particularly important to check and have a plan on days when you are travelling across the state.
- Subscribe to CFS warnings through the CFS website, and download the Alert SA app.