In 2012, the CCAV, in consultation with the CFA developed guidelines in relation to conducting small events in high fire risk locations. The CFA recommended that events such as funerals held in high fire risk areas are cancelled or postponed on days declared Extreme, Severe or Code Red.The CCAV recommends that Members speak to their local Fire Authority to ascertain if their cemetery is at risk of Wildfire. If their site has been deemed “at risk”, they need to develop a Bushfire Management and Emergency Plan.
If a cemetery site is determined to be at risk of wildfires, then CCAV also recommends that the Cemetery Trust adopt this Wildfire Management Plan that may be implemented on declarations of Severe, Extreme and Code Red days.” However cemeteries outside these localities may also have a Wildfire risk, and these cemeteries will also need to develop their own Bushfire Management and Emergency Plan to ascertain what level of risk their site is.
The CCAV developed a Recommendation for a High Fire Risk Management Plan for Members based on the CFA documents, detailing press releases and the need to develop a site specific Fire Management Plan.
The CCAV is aware of the impact that cancelling a funeral may have, with the possibility of grieving family members being further distressed, however we are also aware of the real risk of having a large number of people entering an unfamiliar locality with a possibility of being caught in a wildfire on such a day, when local residents are asked to leave early.