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Media Release

Bushfire alerts warn of increasing threat
Friday 19 March 2010 – 11:25 AM

Western Australia’s new public information warning system is helping people take action to survive during a bushfire.

FESA Chief Operations Officer Craig Hynes said the system had been activated more than 100 times since the beginning of December for incidents where life or property was potentially under threat.

“The three level system reflects the increasing risk to life and the decreasing amount of time people have until the fire reaches them,” Mr Hynes said.

“Many people living in or near a bushland area are now familiar with how it works and are taking the appropriate actions to survive during a bushfire.

“If you aren’t familiar with the system take the time to learn what it means and how it could help keep you safe.”

The three levels of alerts include a bushfire ADVICE, WATCH and ACT and EMERGENCY WARNING.

A bushfire ADVICE provides information when a fire is not threatening lives or property but may be causing smoke near homes such as a small controllable fire.

A bushfire WATCH AND ACT tells you the fire conditions are changing and there is potential for lives and property to be threatened.

A bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING is the highest level of warning. It signifies immediate danger and means you need to take urgent action to survive.

Mr Hynes said firefighters would do everything they could to protect communities but it was important people took responsibility for their own safety.

“Bushfires can start suddenly so you need to be prepared to act even if you do not receive a warning,” he said.

“Always watch for signs of a bushfire, especially smoke and flames.”

When alerts are issued they are published on the FESA website and recorded on the FESA Information Line (1300 657 209).

You should also listen to local radio or emergency broadcasts on ABC radio at quarter and quarter past the hour for updates during serious emergencies. 

The public information system is used by all fire management agencies in WA including FESA, Department of Environment and Conservation and local governments.

It was implemented as part of a national approach following the Victorian bushfires and recommendations from the Victorian Royal Commission.

For more information about the system and the actions you need to take at each alert level visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au.

 

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