In Victoria the bushfire season is between November to April. This is one of the most bushfire prone areas of the world. On hot and windy days a total fire ban is declared in Victoria as a safeguard to protect the people from bushfire. Lighting fire in the open is strictly prohibited during this time. Therefore traveling in a vehicle on days when there is total fire ban is not safe and should be avoided as far as possible. If in any case you plan to travel in a bush fire area, certain traveling safety tips should be known to you before driving interior through bush forests.
What You Can Do If You Plan Traveling?
While traveling always check the local weather by tuning to the official radio broadcaster. In Victoria the ABC local radio is the official weather broadcaster. This is important especially if you are traveling in forest area with slopes and hills. Fire will generally travel faster up a slope than it will down a slope. Also it is better not to travel deep in a bushfire area when there is extreme or catastrophic fire rating warnings declared by the government.
What Can You Do If Caught in a Vehicle?
Though it is not all safe to take shelter in your vehicle, when you are confronted with fire you can still do some tips when there is no safe place to take shelter. If possible drive away from danger by taking a u turn and speed fast to a safer place. If you see smoke or smell of fire do not proceed further. Drive the vehicle towards a clear and free area having no bushes and trees. Take the following safety tips as soon as possible.
o Turn of the engine and air conditioner.
o Turn on the headlights and hazard lights. This will be useful for emergency services after the passage of fire front.
o Close the doors and windows of the vehicle. This will not bring smoke and heat inside.
o Wear Cotton or woolen blankets to protect from heat.
o Take shelter below the window level so that radiant heat may not hit you.
o Drink plenty of water.
o Once the fire front has passed wait for the help from the emergency services.