WITH widespread dry conditions during winter, the Country Fire Service has announced at least five Fire Ban Districts will start early for the 2019-20 fire danger season.
The Flinders, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, Riverland and Murraylands are all expected to begin two weeks early as the fire potential in the area is above average this year.
CFS Deputy Chief Officer Andrew Stark said the decision to bring forward the Fire Danger Season in these areas was done in consultation with local Bushfire Management Committees and approved by the CFS Chief Officer.
"It's now a good time to prepare your homes for the season," he said.
"There are simple things you can do around the home to protect it from bushfire.
"We've already seen large fires interstate this year, so it's a timely warning to South Australians to prepare early ahead of this year's Fire Danger Season."
Flinders starts today (October 21), while the Mid North,Yorke Peninsula, Riverland and Murraylands will begin from November 1.
Other regions to start on their regular date of November 1 include North West Pastoral, North East Pastiral, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Eastern EP and West Coast.
The Upper South East will begin November 15.
The Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Lower SE and Adelaide Metropolitan are yet to have dates announced.
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RAA insurance claims data shows bushfires have been responsible for destroying 265 homes and causing $18 million in damage in the past five years, occurring from November through to May.
This has prompted a warning from RAA for residents and holidaymakers in bushfire danger zones to avoid being complacent, and to take the necessary steps to reduce the danger to their property and lives.
RAA Claims Manager Hayley Cain said planning for the bushfire threat could make all the difference and echoed safety advice provided by the CFS, urging householders to clean up around their homes.
"There are several steps residents should take to reduce fire fuel around their homes,'' she said.
"These include clearing vegetation, mowing the grass, removing flammable materials from verandahs and clearing gutters.
"If you clean up your property, and maintain it throughout the fire danger season, you'll be better protecting your home from the threat of bushfires."
Ms Cain also urged residents in fire danger districts to heed CFS advice to have a Bushfire Survival Plan.
"A plan should outline when you will stay to defend your property and when you will leave early,'' she said.
"As the CFS advises, unexpected incidents can happen in an emergency so you may need to cope with changing circumstances and have a plan that will work in different situations.''
Mr Stark said it was important to speak with family and other household members about what to do on days of increased fire danger or if a fire starts.
"CFS has a 5 Minute Survival Plan available on the website which will guide you in how to develop your plan," he said.
- Details: cfs.sa.gov.au