Be vigilant: Wodonga fire season starts today

Wodonga residents are urged to be vigilant as warmer and drier than average conditions suggest the fire season is likely to be more active than normal.

From the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook, developed by the Bishfire and Natural Hazards CRC with the Bureau of Meterology, indicates Northern Victoria will have a "normal" fire season.

However, northern Victoria has been flagged for an early start to the season due to below average rainfall.

Victoria’s traditional period of increased fire activity is in January and February, the outlook has suggested there will be a level of unpredictability around when fires will occur over the summer period and how intense they are likely to be.

Wodonga Council's Emergency Management Co-ordinator Paul Leddy said with Wodonga's fire season starting today, residents needed to be prepared.

"Taking steps to get prepared before the fire season means you know what to do when you're at risk of fire," he said.

"It's important to prepare your property for fire but you also need to plan and prepare for your safety. Pack important documents, photos, medications, money and clothes so you can leave easily."

Mr Leddy said it was important for all family members to understand and know the plan.

"Have a plan and make sure you stick to it," he said.

"Don't hesitate when it's time to leave. You could get trapped by fire if you leave too late. Plan for all scenarios - · what will you do if your car won’t start, the wind changes direction, roads are blocked, someone is hurt or people aren’t where you expect them to be?

"Prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Early action can prevent fires threatening lives and property."

Meanwhile, Baranduda residents are asked to provide feedback on the provision of a Neighbourhood Safer Place in the area.

Wodonga Council has established three Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSPs), which provide residents in bushfire affected areas a place of last resort during a bushfire.

NSPs were recommended as a result of the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission.

Wodonga's NSPs are located at Birallee Park, Martin Park oval number two and Kelly Park.

There has been a request for an NSP to be located at Baranduda and the sports pavilion at the Baranduda Reserve has been assessed as the most appropriate location.

Baranduda residents are asked to fill out the short survey here by November 16.