snifter

CFS - Country Fire Service (SA)

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    Thought I'd post this as another thread got me thinking.

     

    I've been doing lots of reading on fire risks and bans as hubby spends a lot of time up in the hills on his bike, we go along to support him quite a bit (and will most likely cycle out there in future) and also as we are considering towns out in the hills and beyond as possible places to live (now and in the future). Trying to get myself fully informed as to what it can really mean in terms of dealing with the fire risk when lives and/or home are in danger.

     

    I found the SA CFS (Country Fire Service) website and its really useful, informative and updated daily.

     

    http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp

     

    The website is great and they also use social media to live update which is handy for us when on the go. Means we can both keep check on things and make sure we are informed in real time. Signal can sometimes be an issue depending on location but we are usually able to get a good idea of what is going on and where.

     

    Its quite an eye opener reading about the fires breaking out already and 3 or 4 on the go on any one day (I am guessing this can go up as it hots up). I know the radio covers it all also with fire updates but having a website or ticker feed dedicated to it means I can check up anytime and get the news.

     

    Anyways, useful stuff if some of the new arrivals or those planning on making the move are interested.

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    Thanks for this. Such an important thread if you are living in the hills.

    My OH was a fire officer overseas. He reckons that the conditions in the hills are a disaster just waiting to happen. After our really wet winter the fire load of the vegetation is extreme and if an outbreak conincides with hot windy conditions there will be loss of property and lives. He reckons there are areas where it would be suicidal to send in fire crews so residents will be on their own..so get out early.

    There's plenty that people can do and it's so important to "make a plan" and be prepared.

    Let's pray that we get through this summer without losing lives.

     

    The CFS also has an update page of current incidents which is useful: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/news_media/current_incidents.jsp

     

     

    Tamara

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    Further to this the Mt Lofty fire tower is always looking for more people to act as fire spotters during the hot months.

     

    If anyone would like to spend a couple of afternoons (4hr shifts) per month in the highest office space in South Australia PM me your contact details and I'll pass them along. You'd receive training in the use of laser range finding binocular and tablet equipment (supplied courtesy of BAE Systems) plus use of the GRN radio network. Male, female, young, old. All welcome.

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    Another thing people need to consider when living in these areas (or just in general) is having adequate insurance. People often undervalue their properties and the actual real costs of rebuilding and don't factor in removal of rubbish/house debris, legal costs etc.

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    Another thing people need to consider when living in these areas (or just in general) is having adequate insurance. People often undervalue their properties and the actual real costs of rebuilding and don't factor in removal of rubbish/house debris, legal costs etc.

    ...and if your insurance company believe you are under-insured they may not pay out at all.

     

    We just did a re-estimate of our current belongings etc and it turned out we needed to almost double the insured value. It's surprising how much things cost to replace even though you may have picked them up cheaply to begin with.

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    When deciding to live in the hills, we chose a place that has several routes out - it only takes one tree down or accident to block a road out to safety. Also, we decided against living anywhere with a 'high' threat classification ('medium' being the lowest around these parts) as some places just look too dangerous to us, even though they're stunning. Keeping vegetation cleared and well pruned around the block and having an action plan for catastrophic days is about the best one can do.

     

    Incidentally, although 'the hills' have been mentioned several times on this thread, this is a loose designation and even so, nobody should assume that's the only place facing fire risks. On Ash Weds, the first fire in SA was at McLaren Flat, and places like the Barossa and Clare suffered, and 12 of those who died were in Metro/foothills areas. There are plenty of places much closer to Adelaide than where we live near Mt Barker that have higher fire ratings than us, and some with just one road in/out (with trees on one side and a long steep drop on the other). I believe some of the properties sell for a premium because of the great views ...

     

    Last summer we had Adel's dad holidaying with us and the talk turned to bushfires. He was wondering how often they happened, so I showed him the CFS site and there were about 30 on-going incidents. I'm sure that through his newly-acquired tan I saw him go a shade paler. I went a touch pale myself when I looked out of the window and realised that we could see the smoke from one of them ...

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    How do you find out what classification a particular suburb is (high/medium/low risk) ??? I've looked on the cfs website but can't sem to find that particular information and reckon I must be being dim :confused:

     

    We have been looking at houses all over Adelaide and a link would be really useful, for us and others. (we will probably stay near the coast but who knows) - Thanks.

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