By MELISSA MEEHAN
CLEAN UP, but be sure to look up.
That’s the word from Monbulk fire brigade Captain Simon Schroder in the lead up to the fire season.
He said Monbulk fire fighters had already been called out twice this month to burn-offs that had got out of control.
“We really appreciate you cleaning up your yard, after all, one likely fire source in the coming season is ember attack from fires elsewhere and if your yard is clear of flammable litter, it lessens your risk,” Capt Schroder said.
“But if you are cleaning up leaf litter by burning, please make sure you do it away from the base of all trees.
“If the flames get into the bark and race up the tree, it is a triple zero call to put it out once it gets above the reach of your garden hose.”
He said despite both the Yarra Ranges Council and CFA making it clear that residents should not burn near trees, it was still happening.
“The big problem with burning trees is that they throw ‘fire starters’ over a large area,” he said.
“We have had two call-outs recently for exactly that cause.
“A couple of clean-up fires ran up tree trunks and needed our attendance.”
Capt Schroder said that residents needed to remember that being able to burn for fire reduction purposes was a privilege and needed to be treated as such.
“Burning to clear our bigger domestic yards is best done with a series of small, no more than a cubic metre, clean-up fires,” he said,
“These should be lit in turn, not all at once and well away from standing trees.
“But have the hose at hand, and wet down nearby trunks before you start.
“If the tree should catch, and the fire gets beyond your hose’s reach, do not delay, get us out to help.
“If you wait too long, the fire may climb to be above the easy reach of our bigger hoses and pumps, so act quickly.
Monbulk residents needing fire prevention advice before the fire season can contact the Monbulk fire brigade.
The brigade has two very experienced and specifically trained firefighters who can visit homes and give advice about making the house more fire resistant, thus keeping you safe.
Call Leon on 0419 319 953 or John on 0447 766 009 to set up a free visit.