The Fire Danger Period in the Macedon Ranges is now in force. This means you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a permit or comply with certain requirements. If you don’t obtain a permit, you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted. CFA in conjunction with Victoria Police have a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal fires. It is imperative that all residents are particularly cautious when mowing and using powered equipment outdoors. For further information regarding what you are allowed to do during the Fire Danger Period go to the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can/.
Your preparations for the Fire Danger Period should now be complete. If not, it is not too late. Check out the information contained on the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/prepare-your-property/ for suggested preparations that you can carry out. An important consideration for all landholders is to ensure that a fire truck can reach your house. For a fire truck to reach your house your driveway needs to be clear of trees and branches with a minimum clearance of at least 4m in width and 4m in height.
Stay informed with the local fire situations by listening to emergency broadcasters such as ABC radio, downloading the new FireReady app, visiting www.emergency.vic.gov.au, monitoring the CFA Facebook and Twitter accounts and/or calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
Thanks to the ongoing support of the Gisborne community we have been able to purchase a handheld Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC). The TIC has the unique ability to allow our firefighters to “see” through smoke to allow for the easier and safer combating of fires.
The Fire Brigade has been particularly busy over the past two months with firefighters working in the NSW Blue Mountains region, at Sedgwick near Harcourt and numerous small grass and scrub fires in Gisborne and surrounding areas over the past two months. In early December 140 people were evacuated from Jet’s Gymnastics in New Gisborne when smoke from an adjoining factory filled the gymnastics hall. Thankfully no one was injured.
We attended a total of 175 incidents for the 2013 calendar year.
If you drive past the Gisborne Fire Station you may see that we have created a memorial garden to remember our deceased firefighters. Surrounding a plaque are five Fire Star roses. The garden was constructed by our members with the support of the Harry family.
On Christmas Eve the Brigade travelled the streets of Gisborne with Santa spreading Christmas cheer. Santa handed out 130 kg of lollies to the good children and adults of Gisborne. You may have noticed a change from the previous 30 years in the way we undertook this enjoyable task.
Due to an expanding township, OHS requirements, and increasing time constraints on the hard working volunteers of the Gisborne Fire Brigade, this year we minimised the trucks from driving in small narrow courts and dead-end roads.