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Media Release

Pastoral fires spark call for action
Thursday 19 January 2012 – 3:05 PM

FESA and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) are urging pastoralists to remain vigilant and ensure that they are prepared for a bushfire emergency.

FESA District Manager Midwest Gascoyne South Steve McDonald said that the high number of pastoral fires in the last month was an important reminder for pastoralists to ensure their properties, and especially their homesteads, are bushfire ready.

“Two months into the bushfire season and over four hundred thousand hectares have been burnt in the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne and Goldfields regions,” Mr McDonald said.

“Fuel loads in the region are much higher this year and that means a challenging bushfire season for firefighters. 

“Pastoralists need to be aware that during a bushfire, firefighters may not be able to protect all properties, especially when the location is dangerous and conditions are hot."

Mr McDonald said pastoralists who planned to defend their property must consider fuel reduction, firebreaks, water supplies and emergency supplies.

“Properties will often lose power and water which can make defending your home very difficult if contingencies haven’t been prepared.

“It is essential to clear a minimum 20 metre safety zone around your residence and infrastructure and remove any potential fire traps such as wood piles and fuel containers.

“Planning ahead is important because last minute decisions are never as safe as a well thought out plan,” he said. 

PGA President Rob Gillam said pastoralists needed to remain vigilant this bushfire season.

“Every pastoralist is well aware of how destructive bushfires can be, and needs to ensure their bushfire survival plan is up to date and ready for action,” he said.

“It’s also very important to have a plan for pets and livestock.

“Good preparation can mean the difference between your homestead surviving or not.”

For more information on how you can prepare for a bushfire refer to FESA’s Prepare. Act. Survive document or The Homeowner’s Bushfire Survival Manual at www.fesa.wa.gov.au.

Media contacts
FESA:    Media and Public Affairs 9225 5955
PGA :     Rob Gillam President 0427 275 026, Sheldon Mumby – Media 0427 125 478​

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