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South Australia Gears Up for Challenging Bushfire Season

As South Australia braces for a scorching summer and heightened bushfire risks due to the looming El Niño event, the Malinauskas Government, along with top emergency services leaders, have joined forces to bolster the State’s preparedness.

To tackle the impending challenges, significant steps have been taken:

Aerial Fleet Expansion: The Country Fire Service (CFS) is set to receive a boost with the addition of five new aircraft to their firefighting fleet, bringing the fleet strength from 26 to 31.

Technological Advancements: A $12 million investment from the State Government is facilitating the rollout of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology for firefighting and emergency service vehicles, enhancing their efficiency.

Prescribed Burns: With 25 prescribed burns already completed and plans for an additional 31, efforts are underway to mitigate fire risks by strategically managing vegetation.

Public Awareness Campaign: By the end of October, a statewide advertising campaign will kick off, urging South Australians to formulate and be mindful of their bushfire survival plans.

Early Fire Danger Season: Recognising the heightened risks, the Fire Danger Season has been brought forward in six districts, commencing on October 16 for Flinders, North East Pastoral, North West Pastoral, and West Coast, followed by Mid North and Yorke Peninsula districts on November 1.

Police Vigilance: Police patrols will be intensified on total fire ban days throughout the season with Operation Nomad being initiated, focusing on preventing deliberate, reckless, and negligent acts that may lead to bushfires.

CFS Chief Officer Brett Loughlin reinforced that “preparing for the bushfire season is a shared responsibility” with Peter Malinauskas adding that “after three wet summers due to La Niña weather patterns, those living in areas prone to fires should take the opportunity to prepare their properties for dryer and warmer conditions, ensure any excess fuel is removed.”

Before summer arrives, the State Government and the CFS are also urging South Australians living in risk areas to ensure they have a bushfire survival plan.

South Australians need to know what to do when a bad fire day approaches – including where to go, when to leave, and what to take. It is too late to plan once an emergency warning is issued.

Key Elements of a Bushfire Survival Plan

  • Family Involvement: Include the entire family, including pets, in bushfire preparations to empower young people and ensure everyone understands what to do in an emergency.
  • Stay Informed: Check Fire Danger Ratings daily and stay informed. Fire Danger Ratings indicate the potential danger of a bushfire.
  • Travel Precautions: If traveling across the state, check daily Fire Danger Ratings in that area and have a plan in case a bushfire starts.
  • Subscription to CFS Warnings: Subscribe to CFS warnings through the CFS Website and download the Alert SA App for timely updates.

As South Australians anticipate a challenging bushfire season, preparedness, awareness, and community collaboration are pivotal to managing potential crises effectively.

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