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Media Release

Aerial burning protects Coconut Wells from wildfires
Friday 30 April 2010 – 6:20 PM


An aerial burning campaign will begin tomorrow to help protect the Coconut Wells community near Broome from the impact of severe late season wildfires.


The rural sub division north of Broome came under threat from a major bushfire last October which forced residents to relocate to safer areas.


FESA Kimberley Regional Director Rob Cox said tomorrow’s aerial campaign was designed to reduce natural fire fuel loads in the area to reduce the risk of late season fires.


“Fires that form in the later part of the dry season are often the most volatile and it is important to put plans in place early to reduce the risk to life, property, natural ecosystems and the environment,” Mr Cox said.


The aerial burn will be a joint mission between FESA, the Shire of Broome and the Department of Environment and Conservation with the cooperation of the Yawru people.


A helicopter will be used for the aerial burning project from 12pm to 5pm over a 100 hectare area between Lawrence Road and the Broome Cape Leveque Road.


Bush Fire Service volunteers will be on hand to monitor the burn.


Mr Cox said motorists in the area should slow down if they come across smoke on the road.


“If there’s smoke people should turn their headlights on to make their vehicle visible to others, drive slowly and follow any directions given by emergency personnel,” he said.


“If you suffer asthma or respiratory conditions you may want to relocate for the afternoon. If you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor.”


Mr Cox said last year’s wildfire that threatened the Coconut Wells area and multi million dollar rural properties overlooking Cable Beach was an example of why tomorrow’s aerial burning was required.


“Protecting people’s lives, natural flora and fauna ecosystems, property and the environment from severe late season wildfires is very important,” he said.





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