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Media Release

Unique Kimberley environment recognised in fire trial
Wednesday 2 October 2013 – 6:00 AM
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has entered into an agreement with the four Kimberley local governments that recognises fire management challenges in the region.
 
The memorandum of understanding signed last week has restructured how bushfires are managed in the Kimberley and is part of a three year trial.
 
Under the agreement the Shires of Wyndham East Kimberley, Halls Creek, Derby/West Kimberley and Broome have handed over fire response to DFES.
 
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson is in the Kimberley today to meet with the local governments about this new arrangement that reflects the unique circumstances of the region.
 
“We are pleased that DFES has been able to accommodate a request by the local governments in the Kimberley region for increased fire management support,” Commissioner Gregson said.
 
“Under this new arrangement DFES will manage the day to day running of volunteer brigades in the region, and coordinate response to fire incidents within the local government and DFES response areas.”
 
Commissioner Gregson said the changes meant local governments would no longer be required to coordinate fire response or hand incidents over to DFES.
 
He said DFES had also appointed four Chief Bushfire Control Officers who were committed to fire response and management in the four Kimberley shires.
 
“We are approaching the height of the Kimberley bushfire season and this new arrangement will ensure streamlined coordination of fire response in time for what looks to be a busy few weeks ahead.
 
“Firefighters have attended several out of control fires so far this season that threatened properties and forced evacuations, and there are indications this is going to remain a challenging season for the region.
 
“Residents and people travelling in the area need to remain vigilant for the rest of the season, and be careful not to undertake any activities that are likely to start a fire.”
 
END
 
Media Contact: DFES Media and Public Affairs 9225 5955
 

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