The Mallacoota community was provided a valuable opportunity to learn of the local fire situation on Saturday when CFA community engagement worker, John Upton, and administrative support officer and Heyfield volunteer firefighter, Justice Graham, were in Mallacoota to present a fire preparation meeting with more than 100 people in attendance.
Many questions were asked following a briefing from Mr Upton that explained how important it is to make your own fire plan, and the necessity of preparing to leave early if that is your decision.
Some of the audience members talked about going out on the water on their boat, however CFA advice is this is not a safe option embers can travel up to 50 kilometres and smoke can reduce visibility, possibly leading to accidents.
Discussion about whether to stay at home or leave made it clear that if you do decide to leave, you must do so early i.e. a few days prior to the danger time.
Keeping an eye on the official CFA fire rating is essential as situations can change quickly.
Safe areas in houses were discussed and the danger of going outside was emphasised as often smoke and radiant heat is what kills people. Evacuation points in Mallacoota were discussed, as well as how to get there. P2 fire masks were recommended and a list of items to pack up was also discussed, including important papers, medication, woollen blankets, clothing etc.
Mr Upton strongly emphasised things can be replaced, people cannot.
Mr Graham demonstrated on a burn table how quickly local material rose to fire, an eye-opener for many.
IMAGE: Justice Graham (above) demonstrated on a burn table how quickly local material could burn at a fire ready information session in Mallacoota on Saturday that addressed a full house. S609-9574