ON the first anniversary of the New Year's Eve bushfires at Mt Clear, residents say they are more prepared than ever Last year's fire started in scrub about 4.45pm off Tinworth Avenue in Mt Clear and more than 250 firefighters from Ballarat and across the region attended the blaze.A 12-year-old boy was charged with arson and causing a bushfire following the blaze.Heather Hartigan told The Courier they were prepared to leave if bushfires hit Mt Clear again this fire season."We choose to live here because of the views but with that comes the responsibility of ensuring we are prepared," she said. "We keep the grass cut, clean the gutters and have a water tank out the back."With two young boys, she said the family would leave if their safety was threatened."Last year we were away at the time of the fire ... our house wouldn't be here if it weren't for the CFA and DSE," she said.For Jaspreet Uppal and her family, the New Year's Eve fires forced them to re-evaluate their fire action plan."We've taken a lot more precautions this year," she said. "We've written down plans, where to go and what to take. Last year the flames got really big, really quickly, so we left as soon as we could." She said she was happy with the preparations by the CFA, DSE and council so far but said more could be done. "The trees should be conserved but there's lots of scrub," she said.Meanwhile, Nathan Jeffrey said his family was also ready for fires. "We've got a fire kit and have access to a road out to safety at the back of our house," he said.