You will have learned by now that individual fires have one of three Alert levels:
blue – advice
yellow – watch and act
red – emergency warning
We have been fortunate to date that our nearest fires have been at the first two levels. If a fire should penetrate or start inside the ACT borders, depending on weather conditions, under the right weather conditions it could reach an emergency warning level. Yesterday the ESA Commissioner spoke about what such an emergency warning would mean. You need to be aware of this in preparing and refining your horse’s bush fire plan, especially if your horses are on the outskirts of the city and you plan for them to leave (https://www.facebook.com/actemergencyservicesagency/photos/a.410212465728225/2761843240565124/?type=3&theater).
To quote from the Commissioner: “In line with the Emergency Warning messaging, residents will not be able to pass a roadblock at a closed road for their own safety and the safety of emergency personnel working in the area”
Residents will include agistees.
We are a long way from an Emergency Alert at the moment and the weather is presently on our side. We are not going to be taken by surprise. It is important however that you monitor the several excellent ESA information sources and watch the progress of any fires inside the ACT borders and be very clear about what triggers will cause you to relocate your horse. You must give yourself plenty of time to do this calmly and safely. Be prepared to do this more than once over the long fire season still ahead of us. EPIC is now available for relocation (https://esa.act.gov.au/state-alert-declared-act-0).
For more information you can
- go to https://esa.act.gov.au/cbr-be-emergency-ready/bushfire-ready/bushfire-warning-messages
- go to the excellent graphic explaining fire danger ratings at https://esa.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/fire-danger-ratings.pdf
- read the regular daily updates and reports at https://www.facebook.com/actemergencyservicesagency and https://esa.act.gov.au/news-alerts
- and stay aware of what’s around us via the ESA Incidents map at https://esa.act.gov.au/?fullmap=true