Everyone will be aware that we are facing a high risk weekend with the Orroral Valley Fire and the possibility that the fires just beyond our boarders could also flare up. The Emergency Services are throwing everything at these fires and in order to keep people safe and to allow their vehicles to operate effectively there is every likelihood they will be closing roads. Some of these roads might be the only routes to agistment properties.
ACTEA has spend 2 weeks trying to clarify several statements made in village meetings and information videos about conditions for access for horse owners in this situation.
Yesterday, David Foot, the Deputy Incident Controller from ESA confirmed that:
- when a bushfire is at an ADVICE level horse owners will be allowed through a roadblock to access their horses
- At WATCH AND ACT level owners will be allowed access to retrieve their horses with caution
- when a fire is at EMERGENCY level warning horse owners will not be allowed through road blocks as at this point the fire may pose a threat to lives.
David Foot has also confirmed that there will be no need for horse owner’s proof of identification at the road blocks.
Everyone should be aware that in the current fire situation conditions can change quickly so please make sure that if your bush fire plan is to remove your horse you act in a timely manner. Give yourself and your horse plenty of time to do this calmly. The latest you should be moving your horse is at Watch and Act on a Severe bushfire day.
If you are relying on other people to move your horse please make sure you have organised for them to do it early. Unfamiliar and even uninvited drivers clogging up narrow roadways has been a safety issue on agistment properties in the past and can delay others leaving.
Queanbeyan Showground will not be available as an evacuation centre on the weekend of 1-2 February but there is plenty of room at EPIC. Remember:
Once you enter EPIC, please make your way directly to the EPIC stables, where you will be required to register your details. An EPIC staff member will be available to assist with registration. Please bring:
*water and feed buckets,
*enough feed for 24 hours plus,
*any horse/s medication and,
*some simple first aid.
PLEASE NOTE SOMEONE MUST STAY WITH THE HORSE/S AT ALL TIMES.
You will be required to clean out the stable upon leaving
Stay safe everyone.
ACT Equestrian Association