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Media Release

Seasonal harvest burning prompts safety reminder
Friday 28 March 2014 – 11:00 AM
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is urging growers in the Midwest Gascoyne to take care and stay safe when conducting stubble burns following a record breaking grain crop last year.
There is still the potential for very hot and windy conditions during April which need to be considered before any burning activities occur.
DFES Midwest Gascoyne District Officer Stephen McDonald said growers needed to take some simple steps to manage the fire risk associated with any planned burns.
"The bumper season has left high fuel loads in paddocks that growers may be looking to clear as the warmer conditions ease and paddocks are prepared for sowing,” District Officer McDonald said.
"When conducting these burns of stubble and chaff, farmers should not go ahead if hot, dry or windy conditions are forecast in the area at the time of the expected burn.
"Should the burn get out of control these conditions will see the fire spread quickly which may cause a possible threat to lives and property.”
To manage the risk, DFES recommends checking the fire danger rating for the area and planning any burning activities accordingly.
Growers should stay up to date with the latest weather information from the Bureau of Meteorology and check any warnings issued by DFES to help minimise the risk and prevent smoke from impacting on main roads and local communities.
District Officer McDonald said growers should continue to be vigilant in monitoring local conditions throughout the period of the burn and also manage their personal wellbeing.
"When conducting a burn, growers should ensure that they have well maintained firefighting equipment,” District Officer McDonald said.
"This includes wearing the appropriate protective clothing, having working firefighting equipment at hand and not taking unnecessary risks during the burning.”
Growers should also make sure that they have informed their neighbours and local government fire control officers prior to the commencement of any burning activity.
For more information about local fire restrictions and requirements, growers can check with their Local Government.


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