Farm and household fire planning needs to include pets and larger animals, an Agriculture Victoria veterinarian has said.
Agriculture Victoria veterinary officer Lee Manning said having a clear fire plan will help horse owners to establish their priorities and give them time to practice their plan, especially if it includes floating horses to a safer location before high risk days.
"Owners should prepare a safer area for horses," Dr Manning said.
"This area should be as large as possible with minimum pasture and vegetation length and secure boundary fencing.
"Ideally, it would include a dam or secure water source not reliant on electric pumps."
Horses' flight instinct will be to run away from the danger of fire and if cornered, their fight instinct will have them gallop through flames if necessary.
"Unfortunately, this fight instinct will also have them gallop through you if you try to be with them, so please leave them free to run and survive alone," Dr Manning said.
"It's not feasible to evacuate horses with little notice, so have contingency plans that all members of the house know and have practiced."
After a fire, check all horses for burns, smoke inhalation ,eye irritation and leg injuries.
First aid for equine burns is very similar to people.
Hose them with clean, cool water for at least 10 minutes and call a veterinarian immediately for advice.
Please consult your local CFA for fire behaviour and weather patterns and develop your household fire plan and trigger points for actioning it with your animals included.
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