What you will find on this page (links in blue)Janson Rd/Stringybark Dr Cluster details: session 1; session 2; session 3Russell Sq/Lane St Cluster details: session 1; session 2; session 3Finlay St Sth/Bradbury St Cluster details: session 1; session 2; session 3;  Coorabin Estate Cluster details: session 1; session 2; session 3

NOTICE! Cluster information sessions have now finished for this season. If you missed them watch out for when next season’s sessions start up again. Don’t know if you are in a cluster area? Go here to check. 

FireAware Network – neighbourhood clusters

specific details for information sharing

 

Janson Rd/Stringybark Dr Cluster details (includes some Penny Platypus for webhouseholds north & south of Janson Rd on Springs Rd)

Cluster Contact: Jeff – 0418 556 716   

Information Sessions

FIRST SESSION

Topic Bushfire behaviour and bushfire risk assessment to Brown Hill and specific cluster location
Presenters
  • Dr Kevin Tolhurst (Forestry Professor in Fire Ecology and Management) to present on fire behaviour and cluster risk assessment Refer: Predicting the path of bushfires
  • Mark Cartledge (City of Ballarat, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer) to present on the role of the City of Ballarat and emergency services in the event of a bushfire impacting on Ballarat suburbs
Date Saturday, 17 September Unfortunately this session  had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances for our presenters.
Time   
Venue  

FOLLOW UP: Dr Kevin Tolhurst was able to visit the area in November and provided a risk evaluation. Notes from this meeting will be included here when available. 

 

SECOND SESSION

Topic How residents can best prepare themselves, their household and property in the likelihood of a bushfire event impacting on them or a nearby community
Presenters A CFA Facilitator will assist residents to develop their fire plan step by step using local knowledge to prepare for a range of fire scenarios; receive practical, hands-on guidance to help start, improve or review plans and work alongside others and share ideas. 
Date Saturday, 8 October 2016
Time  2.30 to 4.30 pm
Venue At Jeff’s place – 14A Janson Rd Brown Hill (2nd house at the rear of the block – take driveway on the right down to back of house)

SESSION NOTES: Chris, the CFA Facilitator took the 5 households present through the CFA Bushfire Planning Workshop Workbook. Chris guided the group through some basic information and guides to help them prepare their plan. 

Chris emphasised that planning and preparing your property before summer and the bushfire season is important. Even if you choose to leave early, preparing your property can lower the risk of damage/reduce the risk of losing your property, if a fire is in your area. ANY PLAN IS BETTER THAN NO PLAN.

The topics covered were: pre-season property preparation; understanding fire danger ratings and how they can assist in developing triggers to put your plan into action; checklists for leaving early and staying and defending; more decisions to make for each scenario. 

To access more information on preparing for the bushfire season along with a sample of bushfire plan formats you can download, go to the FireAware Network’s web page onBeing Prepared” 

 You will find on this web page: videos, preparing your plan; Fire Ready Quiz; CFA Fire Ready Kit; CFA Fireguard Program; ACT Bushfire Survival Plan; more plan formats; and other guides

 

THIRD SESSION

Topic REPEAT SESSION: How residents can best prepare themselves, their household and property in the likelihood of a bushfire event impacting on them or a nearby community  
Presenters This session will again be for anyone interested in developing a fire plan, with guidance from a CFA facilitator to help you start, improve or review your plan and work alongside others and share ideas.
Date Saturday, 29 October 2016
Time  2.30 to 4.30pm
Venue 14A Janson Rd

SESSION NOTES: CFA Facilitator took the 4 households present through the CFA Bushfire Planning Workshop Workbook. Chris guided the group through some basic information and guides to help them prepare their plan. Similar to session 2. 

 

Russell Sq/Lane St Cluster details (this includes households located along Yarrowee River)

Cluster Contact: Alice – 0455 247 006

Information Sessions

FIRST SESSION

Topic Bushfire behaviour and bushfire risk assessment to Brown Hill and specific cluster location
Presenters
  • Dr Kevin Tolhurst (Forestry Professor in Fire Ecology and Management) to present on fire behaviour and cluster risk assessment Refer: Predicting the path of bushfires
  • Mark Cartledge (City of Ballarat, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer) to present on the role of the City of Ballarat and emergency services in the event of a bushfire impacting on Ballarat suburbs
  • Unfortunately our presenters were unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.
Date Thursday, 15 September 2016 
Time  6.30 to 8.30 pm
Venue Alice’s place 245 Scott Pde, Brown Hil

SESSION NOTES: A small number of residence still met and talked about the local bushfire risk and viewed several maps provided by DELWP. Refer to Finlay St Cluster for notes on risk for this area.

SECOND SESSION

Topic Interactive session working through a series of scenarios and guided questions to explore “What will you do to escape the fire?
Guided group discussion This session is based on a Special Edition produced by the ABC Catalyst Team. We will work our way through a series of scenarios and guided questions from this educational resource prepared with information from federal, state and local emergency agencies as well as the ABC Emergency team. They have created a fake fire – complete with news reports and expert advice and we will explore the question: “What will you do to escape the fire?”
Date Saturday, 15 October 2016
Time  2.30 to 4.30 pm
Venue Caledonian Primary School, Thompson St, Brown Hill

SESSION NOTES: Finlay St and Russell Sq Clusters combined for this session. Six residents came along to learn more about what happens when a fire event catches people by surprise. 

We first watched a Catalyst showCatalyst Don’t Panic – Surviving Extremes that took us through a made-up bushfire event in the northern Sydney suburbs which are on the urban/rural fringe. A key emphasis was to shed light on what  happens to a brain when faced with a real emergency. Check out this video “How mentally prepared are you?Which is an excellent overview of how our brains can close down. This is a fundamental reason why it is so important to have a written and practiced plan before a fire season. 

Some take homes: “Well, have you imagined yet how you’d have done? See, here’s the big problem. Rural people think a lot about fire. But most of us live in the suburbs, and we don’t. We feel kind of safe, like someone will come to our rescue, or we’ll have plenty of time to leave. Yeah, we’re talking about a catastrophic fire day. All our cities have whole suburbs that back on to, or are right in the bush.”

“Well, one of the most significant drivers of fire weather is temperature. And what you need to understand about temperature is that even a small shift in the average can produce a great shift in the extremes.”

“But once again, that key message – without a pre-prepared plan, the brain struggles to latch onto the best action.”

“Most of us say we’ll leave early, but we haven’t ever planned what our trigger to leave will be or what to do if you can’t get out. And when the Matthews’ exit was blocked, they made one potentially fatal mistake – they kept wanting to shelter in the bathroom……You’re in a house, it’s surrounded by the fire front and half your house is on fire. Well, what you DON’T do is trap yourself in a room with no other exits.”

“A plan sitting on a fridge that once in a blue moon you use because a fire’s coming over the hill is not much of a plan. Because at the time a disaster is enveloping you, you can’t think strategically. The body shuts down and so you won’t remember the nine dot points on your plan even if it’s written there unless you’ve practised it……Really, if you’re serious about a family plan, develop a habit of running through it every year as soon as the weather starts to get warm, especially if you live in a fire-prone area, and, yes, that includes the suburbs.”

“It’s all very well thinking it’ll never happen. Is it worth taking that risk? In the safe, tidy world most of us grew up in, our brains struggle to cope with the idea something big and bad can happen. But history and trends tell us extreme weather will strike somewhere. So every now and again, we need to poke our heads up, take a reality check and be prepared.”

The group then accessed the Catalyst website where the Catalyst crew had laid out all the fake news reports, all the fake weather reports for each stage of the scenario. We then worked our way through the 5 stages of a catastrophic fire event to see ‘What would you do?”

A couple of handouts were also provided to help households to start writing up their plans including the excellent “CFS SA Bushfire Survival Plan Checklist” which you can download from the link. 

If you would like to test your awareness and knowledge for what YOU would do please feel free to access the “Catalyst Don’t Panic” edition and their scenario website and go through the questions for you and your family to discuss.  

THIRD SESSION

Topic Bushfire hazards and understanding ember attack                                                                                                 
Guided group discussion This last session will be a guided discussion where we will review the risk to Brown Hill, learn about fire behaviour and the bushfire hazards that residents need to be most aware of; and, as research has shown that 80% to 90% of houses lost in a bushfire event are due to ember attack, there will be a special emphasis to understand what an ember attack is and how to best respond.
Date Sunday, 6 November 2016
Time  2.30 to 4.30 pm
Venue Caledonian Primary School, Thompson St.

SESSION NOTES: Finlay St and Russell Sq Clusters combined for this session. Eight residents attended. This last session was a guided discussion where the group reviewed the risk to Brown Hill, looked at the basics of fire behaviour and bushfire hazards; then watched videos relating to the mental and emotional responses during a fire event and details concerning ember attacks and how to prepare your property. Videos can be accessed on the FireAware Risk page

Finlay St Sth/Bradbury St Cluster details (includes Water St households between Bradbury St & the creek)

Cluster Contact: Hazen – 0408 690 493 

Information Sessions

FIRST SESSION

Topic Bushfire behaviour and bushfire risk assessment to Brown Hill and specific cluster location
Presenters
  • Dr Kevin Tolhurst (Forestry Professor in Fire Ecology and Management) to present on fire behaviour and cluster risk assessment Refer: Predicting the path of bushfires
  • Mark Cartledge (City of Ballarat, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer) to present on the role of the City of Ballarat and emergency services in the event of a bushfire impacting on Ballarat suburbs
Date Saturday, 24 September 2016
Time  2.30 to 4.30 pm
Venue Meeting Cnr of Finlay St and Bradbury – if raining alternate venue will be posted at corner

SESSION NOTES: Brown Hill Community – what is our risk?

27 September 2016: Recently **Assoc Professor Kevin Tolhurst spoke to a small group of residents at the information session for the Finlay St Bradbury St Cluster and provided an insight into the potential risk of a bushfire event impacting on our community. The following come from notes taken at the session:

       Brown Hill Bushfire Prone Area

bpa-brown-hill002-copy

          Brown Hill Risk Level

  • The highest risk areas of Ballarat to a bushfire threat are Nerrina, Invermay and Brown Hill;
  • The direction of the threat coming from the forested areas north-west of the city – Creswick and Clunes – depending on ignition point a fairly large fire could develop;
  • Intensity of any fire depends on the fire rating and weather conditions at the time of ignition;
  • wind direction on high fire danger days usually comes from the north west – the fire front could change dramatically if a south westerly wind change comes through – which causes significant changes to the configuration of the fire front
  • However the terrain is not significantly steep as the more mountainous areas of eastern Victoria.
  • With a relative narrow range of vegetation and therefore a lower fuel load; a fire travelling at about 10 km/h on flat ground would have a flame depth of about 110 m in forest and 14 m in grassland.
  • If the width of the vegetation (fuel) is less than these dimensions, such as alongside a road or creek or narrow windbreak, then the heat from the fire will be less than if it was coming from a deep area of fuel such as a forested area.
  • Due to the lower fuel load and relatively smaller forested area, than other forested mountainous areas of Victoria, it is less likely that a fire would have the ability to develop into a catastrophic event. This however, does not mean that a fire hasn’t the potential to infiltrate the urban fringe of the city

 

What are Bushfire Prone Areas? Bushfire Prone Areas are areas that are subject to or likely to be subject to bushfires. Access property detail reports and Bushfire Prone Area status here

Main risk for Brown Hill Clusters south of the freeway (includes Finlay & Russell Sq Clusters)

  • Houses adjacent to the Yarrowee River and nature reserve are at a higher risk of direct fire contact;
  • The greatest threat to the majority of the suburb is from ember attack; to defend against an ember attack can take hours of vigilance both outside and inside a house;
  • Houses can burn down hours after a fire has past due to a slow build up of embers;
  • Investigation into the Canberra fires in 2003 and the Wye River fires in 2015 revealed that the majority of houses lost were from ember attack and not the direct fire front;
  • Spot fires can start in multiple backyards as embers can travel long distances before a fire arrives, during and long after the initial threat has past;
  • If embers have time to build up and are not extinguished quickly they can enter unsealed areas/weak points and ignite houses;
  • Once houses have ignited, house to house fires then become a high risk;
  • If high winds are created by the fire they have the potential to lift tiles, even momentarily, which allow entry of embers in roofing area;
  • Having metal fencing, protecting windows with metal (aluminium flywire) screens and ember proofing a house can assist to lower the risk of ignition;
  • As environmental moisture is also key to the intensity of a fire it is easier for a fire to take hold when moisture content is low e.g. during drought conditions. This also applies to houses as they also dry out.
  • Due to the high moisture content build up during our wet winter it could lessen the intensity of this coming fire season (2016/17) but fine fuels such as undergrowth and grasses can dry out quickly with a run of hot days
  • To access the full notes on this session about risk of a bushfire event go here
  • ** To access background on Assoc Professor Kevin Tolhurst go here

 

SECOND SESSION

Topic Interactive session working through a series of scenarios and guided questions to explore “What will you do to escape the fire?
Guided group discussion This session is based on a Special Edition produced by the ABC Catalyst Team. We will work our way through a series of scenarios and guided questions from this educational resource prepared with information from federal, state and local emergency agencies as well as the ABC Emergency team. They have created a fake fire – complete with news reports and expert advice and we will explore the question: “What will you do to escape the fire?”
Date Saturday, 15 October 2016 
Time  2.30 to 4.30 pm
Venue Caledonian Primary School, Thompson St, Brown Hill

SESSION NOTES: Finlay St and Russell Sq Clusters combined for this session. Six residents came along to learn more about what happens when a fire event catches people by surprise. 

We first watched a Catalyst showCatalyst Don’t Panic – Surviving Extremes that took us through a made-up bushfire event in the northern Sydney suburbs which are on the urban/rural fringe. A key emphasis was to shed light on what  happens to a brain when faced with a real emergency. Check out this video “How mentally prepared are you?Which is an excellent overview of how our brains can close down. This is a fundamental reason why it is so important to have a written and practiced plan before a fire season. 

Some take homes: “Well, have you imagined yet how you’d have done? See, here’s the big problem. Rural people think a lot about fire. But most of us live in the suburbs, and we don’t. We feel kind of safe, like someone will come to our rescue, or we’ll have plenty of time to leave. Yeah, we’re talking about a catastrophic fire day. All our cities have whole suburbs that back on to, or are right in the bush.”

“Well, one of the most significant drivers of fire weather is temperature. And what you need to understand about temperature is that even a small shift in the average can produce a great shift in the extremes.”

“But once again, that key message – without a pre-prepared plan, the brain struggles to latch onto the best action.”

“Most of us say we’ll leave early, but we haven’t ever planned what our trigger to leave will be or what to do if you can’t get out. And when the Matthews’ exit was blocked, they made one potentially fatal mistake – they kept wanting to shelter in the bathroom……You’re in a house, it’s surrounded by the fire front and half your house is on fire. Well, what you DON’T do is trap yourself in a room with no other exits.”

“A plan sitting on a fridge that once in a blue moon you use because a fire’s coming over the hill is not much of a plan. Because at the time a disaster is enveloping you, you can’t think strategically. The body shuts down and so you won’t remember the nine dot points on your plan even if it’s written there unless you’ve practised it……Really, if you’re serious about a family plan, develop a habit of running through it every year as soon as the weather starts to get warm, especially if you live in a fire-prone area, and, yes, that includes the suburbs.”

“It’s all very well thinking it’ll never happen. Is it worth taking that risk? In the safe, tidy world most of us grew up in, our brains struggle to cope with the idea something big and bad can happen. But history and trends tell us extreme weather will strike somewhere. So every now and again, we need to poke our heads up, take a reality check and be prepared.”

The group then accessed the Catalyst website where the Catalyst crew had laid out all the fake news reports, all the fake weather reports for each stage of the scenario. We then worked our way through the 5 stages of a catastrophic fire event to see ‘What would you do?”

A couple of handouts were also provided to help households to start writing up their plans including the excellent “CFS SA Bushfire Survival Plan Checklist” which you can download from the link. 

If you would like to test your awareness and knowledge for what YOU would do please feel free to access the “Catalyst Don’t Panicedition and their scenario website and go through the questions for you and your family to discuss.  

THIRD SESSION

Topic Bushfire hazards and understanding ember attack                                                                                                 
Guided group discussion This last session will be a guided discussion where we will review the risk to Brown Hill, learn about fire behaviour and the bushfire hazards that residents need to be most aware of; and, as research has shown that 80% to 90% of houses lost in a bushfire event are due to ember attack, there will be a special emphasis to understand what an ember attack is and how to best respond.
Date Sunday, 6 November 2016
Time  2.30 to 4.30 pm
Venue Caledonian Primary School, Thompson St.

SESSION NOTES: Finlay St and Russell Sq Clusters combined for this session. Eight residents attended. This last session was a guided discussion where the group reviewed the risk to Brown Hill, looked at the basics of fire behaviour and bushfire hazards; then watched videos relating to the mental and emotional responses during a fire event and details concerning ember attacks and how to prepare your property. Videos can be accessed on the FireAware Risk page

 

Coorabin Estate Cluster details

Cluster Contact: Matt email   

Information Sessions: Unfortunately due to lack of interest with no residents attending the 1st and 2nd sessions the 3rd session was cancelled. However a risk assessment was provided by Dr Kevin Tolhurst and Mark Cartledge. Notes will be posted here on completion. 

FIRST SESSION

Topic Bushfire behaviour and bushfire risk assessment to Brown Hill and specific cluster location
Presenters
  • Dr Kevin Tolhurst (Forestry Professor in Fire Ecology and Management) to present on fire behaviour and cluster risk assessment Refer: Predicting the path of bushfires
  • Mark Cartledge (City of Ballarat, Municipal Fire Prevention Officer) to present on the role of the City of Ballarat and emergency services in the event of a bushfire impacting on Ballarat suburbs
Date Saturday, 22 October 2016
Time  3.00 to 5.00 pm
Venue Coorabin Dr playground at the top of Coorabin Dr

 

SECOND SESSION

Topic How residents can best prepare themselves, their household and property in the likelihood of a bushfire event impacting on them or a nearby community
Presenters A CFA Facilitator will assist residents to develop their fire plan step by step using local knowledge to prepare for a range of fire scenarios; receive practical, hands-on guidance to help start, improve or review plans and work alongside others and share ideas. (to be confirmed)
Date Saturday, 5 November 2016
Time  3.00 to 5.00 pm
Venue To be advised

 

THIRD SESSION (CANCELLED)

Topic Interactive session working through a series of scenarios and guided questions to explore “What will you do to escape the fire?
Guided group discussion This session is based on a Special Edition produced by the ABC Catalyst Team. We will work our way through a series of scenarios and guided questions from this educational resource prepared with information from federal, state and local emergency agencies as well as the ABC Emergency team. They have created a fake fire – complete with news reports and expert advice and we will explore the question: “What will you do to escape the fire?”
Date Saturday, 19 November 2016
Time  3.00 to 5.00 pm
Venue Glen Park Primary School