My Bushfire Plan website gets a timely $200k overhaul

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DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm and Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan launch a new hard-hitting fire awareness campaign and new preparedness app called “My New Bushfire Plan” ahead of the start of the bushfire season.
Camera IconDFES Commissioner Darren Klemm and Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan launch a new hard-hitting fire awareness campaign and new preparedness app called “My New Bushfire Plan” ahead of the start of the bushfire season. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

With bushfire and cyclone season officially starting this week, WA’s official emergency services website has received a $200,000 upgrade.

Called My Bushfire Plan, the online tools are an Australian first and aim to help users to make critical decisions such as when to leave, what to take and where to go before a fire encroaches on their home.

Called My Bushfire Plan, it includes a new mobile app launched to help West Australians be better prepared for the summer ahead.

The online tools are an Australian first and aim to help users to make critical decisions such as when to leave their property, what to take and where to go before a fire threatens their existence.

Commissioned by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the website and app have been released in conjunction with a hard-hitting bushfire awareness advertising campaign.

The new $1 million How Fireproof is Your Plan? campaign urges people to rethink their personal risk with just one in 10 West Aussies having a bushfire plan.

The television advertisements show people, children and livestock trapped in dangerous bushfire scenarios after leaving it too late to move to safety during an emergency.

Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said West Aussies have no excuse not to be prepared this fire season.

“We know that indecision can be deadly during a bushfire, and this campaign is deliberately emotive to bring home the reality of being trapped on your property or in a car,” he said.

“WA will always have bushfires during summer.

“Now there’s no excuse.

“We have a website and an app where you can create your own bushfire plan.

“It’s the most easiest thing you can do to help save the lives of your family, yourself and property.”

The My Bushfire Plan app is available from the App Store, Google Play or mybushfireplan.wa.gov.au.

The updates to emergency.wa.gov.au, which is managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, were driven by community feedback, following requests for more information and increased functionality.

Communities impacted by bushfires will now be able to see an Incident Area for selected fires, showing the estimated location of the hazard.

The Incident Area is depicted on the map as a hatched shape alongside the existing warning areas.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said the inclusion of the Incident Area would help people make informed decisions to respond to emergencies.

“The Incident Area is an indication of where the fire has been and gives the public a greater understanding of what’s going on during significant bushfires,” he said.

“The Incident Area is informed by on-the-ground and aerial intelligence, however emergencies can escalate quickly and the shape might not show the full extent of the incident.

“Always follow the advice in official warnings and never solely rely on the Incident Area when making decisions in an emergency.”

Shire of Esperance deputy chief fire control officer and Cascade Bush Fire Brigade captain Will Carmody said the Incident Area intelligence mapping initiative would be very helpful to supply information to the public.

Mr Carmody, who crops 4,700ha at Cascade, said while the year had been very dry with no run-off, there was still a fire threat.

“I don’t feel as concerned as last summer’s fire season which had severe dry conditions,” he said.

“The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting possible increased summer rainfall.”

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