Community urged to BurnSMART during cooler months
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services is asking the community to exercise caution and check the weather conditions before they undertake planned burns in preparation for the southern bushfire season.
The reminder comes as fire authorities warn the window for low-intensity mitigation burns may be shorter this year, with the Spring Bushfire Outlook indicating that an unusually warm, dry spring could see an early onset of bushfire season.
As the area between the Mid West and Great Southern moves into spring, damp vegetation, light winds and cool weather can provide ideal conditions for people to undertake planned burns on their properties, reducing the amount of fuel available for a bushfire.
This year, however, low winter rainfall means vegetation is drier than normal in large parts of the South West Land Division.
These conditions, coupled with the likelihood of a warm and dry spring, will potentially reduce the window of mild conditions that allow for controlled burns.
Through its annual BurnSMART program, DFES is urging landholders to ensure their burns do not escalate into serious fires as they take advantage of the milder weather conditions.
BurnSMART resources on the DFES website and YouTube channel help simplify the process of developing a burn plan for your property, explain what fuel and weather conditions mean and outline the local requirements.
The BurnSMART campaign also focuses on educating landowners about the importance of reporting their burns to DFES, which reduces the number of false alarms made to emergency services.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said it was important the community didn’t become complacent at this time of year and urged them to continue using the educational resources available online.
“Fire is part of the landscape in WA and when managed carefully it can help protect the environment, lives and homes from the threat of intense, uncontrollable and destructive fires,” he said.
"One of the great things about Western Australia is the ability to live alongside nature but for those people who are in bushfire prone areas, it’s critical that they take action over the next few months to prepare their properties, particularly with spring looking to be warmer and drier than usual.
“We’re asking everyone to ensure that they’re taking all of the right steps before starting any planned burns, so take advantage of BurnSMART’s educational resources to guide you through the best practice.
“Given the window for bushfire mitigation could be shorter this year, taking these steps is particularly important to ensure planned burns don’t escape and become bushfires."
To view and download BurnSMART resources visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au/plannedburning