February is a great month to enjoy Tasmania’s beautiful summer weather but it is also one of the hottest and driest months, which makes it particularly prone to bushfires.
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Felix Ellis, said that the key to reducing bushfire risk is preparedness.
“Tasmanians need to know their risk, be aware of the upcoming weather conditions, and follow the rules when using fire,” Minister Ellis said.
“Fuel loads are extremely dry and we are facing an extended period of high temperatures.
“It is so important that Fire Permit rules are strictly followed and people are conscious that a small campfire, welding and using an angle grinder outdoors, or operating harvesting machinery, may spark a potentially destructive blaze.
“Protecting Tasmanian communities is a priority for the Rockliff Liberal Government, which is why we are investing record funds into our emergency services and first responders.
“One example is our nation-leading Fuel Reduction Program which has strategically burnt more than 200,000 hectares since it was introduced in 2014 to protect communities.
“In addition to our land-based resources, Tasmania has an agreement with the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) which ensures we have access to aerial firefighting resources to respond quickly as part of the Chief Officer’s rapid weight of attack strategy.
“This year we have received an additional 15 aircraft from interstate to complement the 20 private helicopters already in Tasmania.
Having a sophisticated and flexible aerial capability allows us to respond rapidly to evolving fire situations and provide valuable support to firefighters on the ground – we acknowledge and appreciate this invaluable federal partnership with the NACF.
“The Rockliff Liberal Government knows that investing in people, infrastructure and technology helps protect communities and that’s what really matters to Tasmanians, especially those living in regional communities where bushfires are more common.
“Pleasingly there has been a great response from Tasmanians completing Bushfire Plans with a 30 per cent increase on last year.
“So, let’s all work together during February to make sensible decisions around potential fire risks to help protect your family, your friends and your property,” Minister Ellis said.