Fremantle Dockers star Des Headland reckons the Kimberley is the best place on earth and wants the help of local school children to keep it that way.
The 29 year old AFL forward was in Broome today to launch and raise awareness of the Kimberley bushfire season. In previous seasons as much as 13 million hectares of the region has been destroyed by bushfires.
Mr Headland said one of his favourite holiday memories was of catching crabs with locals in the pristine Dampier Peninsular.
“People here are very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful environments on earth. With all of its natural features there is no place more I like to visit than the Kimberley,” he said.
“Children in the Kimberley can do their bit to preserve their unique environment and keep friends and family safe by not playing with lighters, matches, sparklers, candles or fuel that could start a bushfire,” Mr Headland said.
Named as one of Fremantle’s potentially best AFL players, the footballer visited Cable Beach Primary School and St Mary’s Primary School today to help deliver FESA’s Good Fire Bad Fire education program.
“There are good fires such as a cooking fire that is supervised by adults,” Mr Headland said.
“Then there are bad fires like those that are deliberately lit or caused by carelessness. These fires can get out of control and destroy the environment, wildlife, burn down your house and endanger people’s lives.”
Last year a raging bushfire threatened lives and property in Coconut Wells near Broome.
FESA Regional Director Rob Cox said people in the Kimberley should expect a long and potentially dangerous bushfire season this year due to unseasonal weather.
“Some places have had the wettest May in nearly 61 years and this has prevented some of our annual controlled burning programs from being conducted,” he said.
“There is a higher risk of bushfires starting late in the season when it is hotter and there is more fuel available to burn. This will make it harder for firefighters to put the fires out.”
Mr Cox urged people living or travelling through the Kimberley to be vigilant and to do their best not to start bushfires.
For more information on bushfire safety visit the FESA website www.fesa.wa.gov.au.