A white Seaford CFS fire truck drives towards the camera on a tree-lined rural road.

Published on 18 October 2021

It's time to be bushfire ready

With bushfire season approaching, Onkaparinga residents are being urged to prepare their homes, properties and families before it’s too late.

October is ‘Be Bushfire Ready’ month, and the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) is encouraging South Australians to know the risks in your area and be prepared.

This includes having a five-minute bushfire plan, preparing and maintaining your property, and knowing how to stay informed. It is important that your bushfire includes what to do with pets and livestock.

This month is the perfect opportunity to prepare, and key actions to prepare and maintain your property include:

  • Reducing or removing vegetation such as long grass within 20 metres of your home and within five metres of any sheds and garages
  • slashing or mowing grass to no more than 10cm high and removing cut material (unless it can break down before summer)
  • removing dead branches, leaves and undergrowth from around your home especially under trees
  • pruning tree limbs that are lower than two metres above the ground or overhanging your home
  • removing bark, wood piles, cardboard boxes and any other flammable materials close to your home and sheds
  • removing leaves from gutters.

The CFS website has lots of helpful information and tips, including the things you need to consider for your bushfire survival plan.

To keep informed, you can subscribe to CFS warnings by emailing [email protected] with the subject "SUBSCRIBE CFS-SUBSCRIBERS ANONYMOUS" and message "SUBSCRIBE CFS-SUBSCRIBERS ANONYMOUS".

You can also download the Alert SA App. Importantly, you need to set up a ‘Watch Zone’ in the Alert SA App to receive notifications about fires near you. These two instructional videos along with the FAQs on the Alert SA website show you everything you need to know to get set up.

The CFS are hosting a free Bushfire Ready information meeting in Cherry Gardens on Sunday 31 October (11am to 2pm) for those wanting to learn more about bushfire behaviour and warnings, property preparation, where to go and when, and your bushfire survival plan.

City of Onkaparinga’s role and responsibilities

Council has commenced its fire season preparedness, which involves providing advice to residents through its community development programs, the slashing of dry grass on reserves and rural roadsides, pruning of trees on rural roadsides to ensure safe access, and removal of weeds that are highly flammable.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, La Niña conditions may prevail in Australia over the coming months with above average rainfall, and we’re experiencing a wet late spring, which means grasses will take longer to dry. This pushes out council’s fuel-reduction works with potential need to have a second cut where regrowth occurs.

Council has a Bushfire Management Plan, which documents bushfire risk, captures current and future risk treatment strategies, identifies custodians responsible for managing risks and reducing vulnerability to bushfire, supports and informs fuel reduction activities, and informs stakeholders of potential bushfire risks.

It can be viewed at the City of Onkaparinga website.