BUSHFIRES in paddocks and scrub are inevitable at this time of year, but what if the actual township of Naracoorte was under threat?
Luckily there is a lot of planning that goes on behind the scenes all year round to ensure the community gets its best possible shot at survival.
Naracoorte CFS brigade captain Allan Marshall said a fire ravaging the town was unlikely - but nothing was guaranteed.
"We have scrub in the north and south perimeter and there's always a chance, but we clear a lot of the area to create a safe buffer zone.
"We are doing things all the time, reducing the risk."
With a "black and white" plan always in place outlining what to do to get extra resources and equipment in the event of an emergency, Mr Marshall believed the town was well prepared.
"Hopefully we're all ready to go," he said. "In theory it should work OK."
Mr Marshall said he was not aware of a fire threatening the township in the past.
"There's been some close ones but nothing that has crossed the perimeter," he said. "In the 35-odd years I've worked for the CFS we've never had to evacuate people in the town precinct."
Naracoorte Lucindale Council mayor Erika Vickery said a lot of people didn't really know just how much was happening behind the scenes.
"The community does really appreciate the roles of the firefighters who put themselves out there - not only when a fire happens but with all the training that goes into being ready."
The council's director of planning, environment and community development Steve Bourne added it was also the responsibility of the individual to be prepared.
"You know, the CFS likes to push 'Fire is everybody's responsibility'," he said.
A personal "bushfire survival plan" is important to have in every household as it identifies the steps and actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.
Naracoorte has its own "bushfire management plan" which is updated every two years and outlines the "safe" areas in the town.
Most of the area inside the townships of Naracoorte and Lucindale are classified as "bushfire safer precincts" due to low levels of fuel and being sufficiently distant from continuous bushland.
Bushfire travel would also be interrupted by established gardens, lawns, road networks and other zero fuel areas while there is easy access to emergency, health and other community services.
The State CFS said that if relocating to a "bushfire safer precinct" as part of personal survival plan, individuals should have worked out how to get there, how long it would take, what the alternate routes were, the trigger points for action and what possessions would be taken.
The "last resort refuge" is also identified as a "safe" area and can be incorporated into a personal plan.
In Naracoorte it is the regional livestock exchange (saleyards) and in Frances the football oval.
As the name suggests, it should only be used when personal "bushfire survival plans" cannot be implemented or have failed and does not guarantee the survival of those who assemble there.
As well as the CFS and the council, the local Red Cross also have a key role to play - registration and enquiry.
Members attend an annual training session to be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed in any situation, whether it be a bushfire or a school bus crash.
Red Cross regional emergency services officer for the Upper Limestone Coast Marj Haynes said she felt adequately prepared if called on to help in an emergency.
"I feel quite confident," she said. "At the moment we have 27 or 28 people fairly reliably trained.
"We have young girls with computer skills and older ladies who provide a shoulder to lean on which is almost just as important as the registration side.
"I'd get my six youngest brains and most reliable members and set up at a suitable place. It would probably be the high school because there are toilets, shade, the hall and it is central."
Mrs Haynes said she kept tabs on hot days to see who was around and who wasn't, just in case.
With World Heritage listed caves, national parks and endangered flora and fauna in the area, there is also an extensive "fire management plan" for the reserves of the SE.
The document outlines risk minimisation and bushfire suppression considerations and emphasises the protection of life and property as well as providing direction for land managers to protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of reserves in the SE.
National Parks and Wildlife Upper SE district ranger Brian Robins said all parks around the State closed on catastrophic fire days.
For a guide on what should be in your personal "bushfire survival plan" go to www.cfs.gov.au.