Community Fireguard

Community Fireguard is a community education program designed to reduce the loss of lives and homes in bushfires.
The basis for the program is the fact that many people may have to face a fire without the support of CFA, which cannot provide every person and home with individual protection during a major bushfire. It recognises that bushfires are survivable if communities take responsibility for their fire safety and prepare themselves for the event.

Surviving Major Bushfires

Victorian fire history reveals that significant loss of life and property as a result of wildfire continues to occur several times a decade. However, it also shows that the vast majority of people who experience a wildfire survive.

The lessons from our fire history suggest that people who are well prepared for a bushfire can survive. In fact, research into how houses burn and why people die has demonstrated that there is a lot the community can do to improve safety and minimise losses.

Community Fireguard Groups

Community Fireguard encourages community participation in improving bushfire safet. It is made up of small groups, which may simply be a few neighbours living in an area where the fire threat is high, or existing groups such as Landcare or conservation groups that are interested in reducing the fire threat. By working together with support from CFA, groups can develop strategies which are simple, inexpensive and effective.

By becoming involved in a Community Fireguard group, residents learn about fire behaviours, personal survival and house survival. With this understanding, residents are able to develop the best strategies for their local community - strategies which work because they have community ownership and support. Groups make decisions about the best way to protect themselves in a way that fits their lifestyle, environment, physical capabilities, finances and experience.

What do Groups do?

Every Community Fireguard group focuses on its own special needs. Groups draw on the support of Community Fireguard faciliatators whenever they need it.

  • Some activities and strategies of Community Fireguard groups include: Learning about fire behavious, house survival and personal survival.
  • Organising neighbourhood working bees to reduce the amount of fine fuel or improve a nature reserve. Organising street walks to identify possible risks.
  • Ensuring that neighbours become familiar with each other's properties and fire fighting equipment, including how to use it.
  • Making plans to care for more vulnerable people, or people with special needs, in their street.
  • Working out ways of sharing resources and information. Organising the bulk buying of fire fighting equipment.