Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
It’s not just rural areas at risk of bushfires. Suburbs less than 20km from the city have been placed in the danger zone. Find out if your suburb could be under threat. Words: Jeremy Rochow
Tens of thousands of people are unaware they’re living in bushfire zones, leaving them unprepared if disaster hits, the CFS warns.
Although parts of South Australia – including the Riverland, Murraylands and Flinders Ranges – have been identified as the most likely regions to experience bushfires this year, there are some surprising suburbs and towns closer to Adelaide that may also be in danger.
Despite being less than 20km from the CBD, Burnside, Happy Valley, Salisbury East, Hallett Cove, Beaumont and Banksia Park are among the suburbs that aren’t safe from bushfires. Properties in these areas are at risk of bushfires and homeowners need to be prepared.
CFS Commander and Acting Director of Preparedness Operations, Brett Loughlin, says many homeowners don’t realise most houses are burnt in bushfires due to embers, which can be found far from the fire front.
“They [embers] are a huge risk to homes in certain suburbs,” he says.
The embers from a fire in the Adelaide Hills can be transported long distances into suburbs such as Mitcham, Burnside and Golden Grove.
Ember attacks can occur kilometres from a fire and start falling up to an hour before the front arrives. So what can you do to protect your home and family?
First, find out if your home is in an at-risk area. You can do this using the Find Your Bushfire Risk tool on the CFS website. This allows you to type in your address and it’ll give your risk status.
If your house is in a potential danger area, you should create a bushfire survival plan, which will outline what you should do to protect your property and what actions to take if a fire threatens your area.
The CFS also has a 5 Minute Bushfire Plan online tool that families can use to create a personalised bushfire strategy. Some simple steps include fixing damaged roof tiles, to stop burning embers blowing underneath and setting roofing timber alight.
You should also clear any twigs, leaves and debris out of your gutters, as vegetation could easily catch fire during an ember attack.
Making sure your insurance is up to date is also an important part of preparing for a bushfire.
The warm weather might be nice after a cold winter but it’s important we’re all prepared for bushfires.