Friday, December 27, 2013

A Watch and Act message was issued this afternoon as a medium sized, uncontrolled grassfire was  travelling quickly towards the Great Ocean Road, near Peterborough. Advice was given that ‘conditions may change and get worse very quickly’. The Great Ocean Road had been closed. 

Yet people living and holidaying in the area were advised that ‘leaving now is the safest option’.
Told to leave immediately to ‘the home of family or friends away from the warning area’. How? By the endangered and closed Ocean Road? By the inland route to Colac, through bushland in danger of ember-ignition?  

Leaving when an uncontrolled fire is burning in your area; when your usual exit route is closed and in danger of being impacted at any moment, is the most dangerous time to be attempting to leave.  And against all bushfire authority advice of safety through leaving early. This is not ‘leaving early’!  It is leaving at the last minute. The known cause of most bushfire deaths.  In situations such as this, the safest option is to seek shelter.

In any bushfire threat, there are three safe options: 
safe evacuation, safe home defence, safe shelter. 
Essential Bushfire Safety Tips 
explains how to achieve the option of your choice.