With summer around the corner, we are bound to have many beautiful days filled with sunshine and warmth along with friends and family gathered around the pool or BBQ. But an Australian summer, while beautiful, can also turn very hot and very dry, increasing the chance of bushfires. As such, it is vital for you and your property to be prepared. We have compiled some risk mitigation tips you could be incorporating into your bushfire precaution plan.
We know it’s easy to forget, so this is your reminder to keep up with your routine maintenance including removing dead leaves, branches and loose bark from trees. Don’t forget the little stuff like dead twigs, leaves and needles from shrubs and other smaller plants.
WHY? These bits and pieces can easily fuel fires. To avoid all together, you could consider using crushed rock or gravel around your plants instead of leaves and bark.
Prune excess foliage, especially dead or dry foliage, from trees, shrubs and other woody plants.
WHY? Again, excess foliage can kindle a fire and spread very quickly.
It is usually recommended to remove branches up to 1.5 metres above the ground, but specific heights will depend on the age of the tree and its species. So use your judgement and err on the side of caution.
WHY? Trimming branches that hang low will reduce the opportunities for a surface fire to burn up into the canopy.
Keep on top of your mowing and maintain a short lawn to reduce fuel load and minimise the chances of surface fire.
Retain the moisture content of plants by watering them regularly.
The position of plants in your backyard can make a difference. Try keeping plants away from house windows.
If you’re thinking of replenishing your plants, take this as an opportunity to improve the bushfire resilience of your garden and find replacement plants that are more fire resistant.
Consider where you are currently storing your combustible materials. This includes woodpiles, timber furniture, mulch, boxes, hanging baskets. If possible, this should be stored downslope, or at least well away from your house.
If you want to go that extra mile to be fire safe, replace any combustible mulch with non-combustible alternatives, such as pebbles.
If you live in a bushfire prone area, you need to take the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of a fire coming towards your house. So make a start on these fire-precaution tips to get your mind and garden fire-prepared.