Keeping yourself safe this fire season

Selby CFA's community engagement officer Neville Aldham (left) and third lieutenant Andrew Munn (right) are encouraging locals to get prepared for the upcoming fire season. PICTURES: TYLER WRIGHT

By Tyler Wright

Families and new residents in Selby – as well as old – will be able to brush up on their preparations for bushfire season at an upcoming information session with their local brigade.

The Selby Fire Brigade is holding a family fair on Saturday 18 November – complete with a doll sized model of what a safe and prepared house should look like heading into a hot summer – and what an unprepared, unsafe house looks like to guide those looking for information.

Brigade community safety officer, Neville Aldham, said there is a push in mid-November each year to get vital information out to people.

“There’s 38 faults [in the bad doll house] and you get the kids to try to pick them out, so by doing that you got the parents captured,” Mr Aldham said.

“We’ve had a couple of years where we haven’t had much of a fire season, and this year we’re going to have a fire season.

“It doesn’t mean it’s going to be horrific, but there’s going to be a fire season.”

Aldham said people have to get their heads around the new fire danger rating system – which has dropped from six rating to four in Victoria.

“They have the whole of Australia in those new colours – and there’s been some catastrophics up in Northern Territory; Black Saturday is catastrophic in 2009 [was at catastrophic level],” Aldham said.

“People had plans made working on the old scheme of [what to do] when it got to whatever severe [for example], now they’ve got a rejig of what their trigger was of when they were going to leave.”

Mr Aldham also said he has been delivering information packs to residents ahead of the bushfire season over the 2023/2024 period.

“[Fire season] could be end of the month, start of December,” third lieutenant Andrew Munn said.

“There’s not many weekends left to [prepare].”

Safety precautions also mean not burning off too close to trees and understanding when you are able to burn off.

“This is different living here than living in the suburbs,” Mr Aldham said.

“There’s certain things that you’ve got to do in the summer to protect yourself.”

The open day for the community will be held from 9am to 3pm at the fire station on Greenwell Road in Selby.

Locals can try their luck in a firewood raffle, place their bids at the silent auction for a number of treasures, enjoy a range of activities for the kids, and food and drinks for a fun family day out.

For those wanting to contribute unwanted treasures to the silent auction, email to organise a pick up.