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Fire risk more than a regional issue

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23 Jan 2013
With high temperatures and dangerous fire conditions expected in much of Victoria on Thursday and Friday of this week, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade is reminding the community that “where there is vegetation there is fire risk” regardless of location.

The risk of fire is just as much of an issue for metropolitan Melbourne as for regional Victoria, according to MFB Acting Chief Officer Peter Rau.
“Many urban dwellers think they are immune to fire, but they are not,” he said.
“With park land and large areas of grassland, there is a real risk of fire in the metropolitan area of Melbourne.”
Mr Rau said MFB responded to hundreds of fires in Melbourne’s parks, reserves and grassland each year.
“This summer has already been particularly busy for both MFB and CFA with high temperatures and a lot of fuel in many of Melbourne’s parks and grassland areas,” he said.
“Large or small, these fires can have devastating consequences.”
Mr Rau said MFB firefighters had identified more than 30,000 homes within the metropolitan district that are at heightened risk from bushfire because of their proximity to parks or grassland.   
A detailed safety and awareness brochure has been sent to the homes which have been identified. 
“People who are most at risk are those with homes or work places backing onto bush, grassland, reserves, scrub, paddocks and parks,” Mr Rau said.
“Particular care is required for the very young and old, or those with disabilities and special needs.”
Fire risk around the home can be reduced by:
Clearing out anything that could fuel a fire
Clearing grass and weeds from around your home and clearing gutters, roofs and downpipes 
Storing anything flammable (e.g. firewood, rubbish, gas bottles) away from your home
Making sure your garden hoses are long enough to reach all areas of your property
Making sure mops and buckets are easily accessible in case you need to put out spot fires around your home caused by burning embers

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