Get Ready Challenge: Week 3 - Beat the burning embers - Yard Blitz
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Hi <<First Name>>

No more beating around the bush - lets get into it and beat the embers! This week its time to get dirty. We're looking at things to do now, and what to do on the day of a fire.

Get the kids involved (when safe!) and we've also got an activity sheet for them. 



Beat the burning embers

Early in the Get Ready Challenge we received this question from a participant:


"But I don't live near the bush -
do I really need to do all this work?"


Our answer:

One of the biggest dangers during a bush fire is what is known as "ember attack". During a bush fire burning hot embers can travel many kilometres and - even if the fire front is still far away - can start instant spot fires in and around your home.


TASK: Yard Blitz!

It's time to get busy, get dirty, and get prepared. It doesn't take long to give your house a better chance of surviving an ember attack, and improve access for fire crews.

Below is a list of common problem areas. Deal with as many as you can and send us your before and after pics! We'll be revisiting this next week, but lets start with the basics...

Your Yard Blitz Checklist for a safer yard:

▢  Clear pathways to access all parts of your property

▢  Keep combustibles away from your house.

▢  Plan better plantings, choose less flammable trees and shrubs around the house.

▢  Make sure water supplies are easy for fire crews to find and access.

▢  Remove rubbish and store yard clutter.

▢  Neatly stack your wood pile away from buildings.

▢  Keep compost heaps and garden beds tidy.

▢  Clear your gutters regularly and trim back overhanging branches.

▢  Garden sheds provide some protection from radiant heat for fuels, paints and other chemicals.

▢  If you have open space underneath your house keep it tidy and clear so you can get in there to check for fires. If the space under your house is enclosed fill gaps with fine wire mesh or seal them off.

▢  Check that you garden hoses work and can reach all corners of your house.

▢  Locate your nearest hydrant on your street. If it's overgrown prune plants and clear debris to give ready access - it might make all the difference!

▢  How's the serenity!

What are combustibles?

Things that burn easily are the most susceptible to burning embers. These ignite very easily and only need a single spark in hot dry conditions:
  • Wooden or brush fences.
  • Wood piles.
  • Dense, dry or dead shrubs and small trees.
  • Branches overhanging a building.
  • Leaf litter, piles of leaves.
  • Door mats and furniture.
  • Fuel and chemicals like paint cans.

Static Water Supply (SWS) Program
If you have a pool or tank consider getting a Static Water Supply sign installed. For more information you will need to contact your district office (Blue Mountains District RFS 02 4784 7444).

On the day of a fire

Put away garden furniture and door mats. Clear your decks and verandahs so there is nowhere for an ember to start a fire.

Move your barbecue gas bottle away from the house or other buildings and point the vent away from combustible materials. Find out more from Elgas

Cover your wood pile to prevent embers and debris falling in the pile. Secure tin sheets or canvas tarpaulins so they won't blow away and become a danger to others. 

Water matters! Fill bins and large tubs so there is a ready source of water for ember defence. Mains water pressure is often lost during a fire. We'll cover this topic in more detail in Week 5.

Clear hydrants: Make sure they are clear of grass and dirt and debris and are not hidden by shrubs or bushes. 



Getting help

If you can’t do these things yourself, there are professional yard maintenance services that can help.
You may also be eligible for help through the AIDER program. Find out more:

Need some motivation? 
Invite your friends, family or neighbours over for a working bee - not many will say no to a cuppa, BBQ or a good hearty soup for a reward - and they might learn something from you too.


Kids activity

Download this activity sheet and print it out. Compare the Good House & Bad House and spot the good and bad things!

Why not show us your best colouring-in this Sunday at Leura Markets!



Come and see us this Sunday at Leura Markets

We'll be at Leura Public School from 9:30am. While you're there have a go of Splosh the Spot and meet our mascot Hairy Mop!

Photo by Helen Flint


You've made it to the bottom!

Next week:
Home Evaluation
Pimp your home for the ultimate in home preparation.
Keep an eye out for our email next Friday

Questions? Feedback?
We'd love to hear from you!

Send us an email or a 
Facebook message.

We are also following the hashtags #GetFireReady and #6WeekChallenge on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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