The Victorian Association for Forest industries (VAFI) recently issued a statement to the timber industry to remind merchants, fabricators, and manufacturers to remain alert over the summer months and to ensure that they are prepared to endure – and survive – bushfires.

Tim Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of VAFI, reminded business owners to have a comprehensive bushfire plan in place, and to make sure to report any suspicious arson activity in the area as the threat ramps up.

“Already this year we have seen the impact fires can have which has resulted in the loss of timber resources, businesses, and residential properties.

“As we move into what is traditionally our most dangerous bushfire period, from mid-January to early March, business owners can help minimise the risks they face by doing things like clearing rubbish such as dead trees, branches, or other dried vegetation from around their premises,” he added.

As a preventative measure the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has also called upon state governments to look at the emerging science and evidence regarding new ways of addressing bushfire prevention.

Mr Ross Hampton, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, said “Last year the Australian Government allocated $1.5 million to conduct a series of trials to physically remove shrubs, smaller trees, and undergrowth from bushland by machinery rather than solely relying on controlled burning in winter.”

As the timber industry enters 2016, with more hot conditions predicted to be on the way, it is important that business owners take preventive measures to ensure their survival.
Click here to view a guide from the Government of South Australia which outlines techniques for business owners to prepare for, and survive, the bushfire season.