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Media Release

Kimberley residents and travellers urged to be prepared for bushfires
Thursday 31 July 2014 – 2:35 PM

With dry and windy weather expected in the Kimberley this weekend, residents and tourists are being reminded to ensure they are well prepared for bushfires.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Kimberley Superintendent Grant Pipe said past rains in the region have created large fuel loads and this combined with hot, windy weather makes the risk of bushfires extremely high.

“Recently a number of concerning bushfires have occurred in the region, and the bushfire threat will only increase as the dry season continues,” Superintendent Pipe said.

“If you live near bush or are camping near bushland you need to be prepared for a bushfire to occur at any time.

“I cannot reiterate strongly enough how important it is that everyone has prepared a bushfire plan and emergency survival kit, and understands the bushfire warnings.

“An Advice means you need to be aware and keep up to date, a Watch and Act alert means you need to leave the area or get ready to actively defend your home, and an Emergency Warning is the highest level of alert – this means you need to act immediately to survive.

“Of course, if you see smoke or flames, regardless of whether there is a warning, act immediately for your own safety.

“With recent bushfires reducing visibility on Great Northern Highway, motorists travelling in smoke affected areas are also reminded to slow down, turn their headlights on and only proceed if they know it is safe.”

Superintendent Pipe said bushfires are started by a number of causes and asked the community to remain vigilant.

“Bushfires can be started by careless acts, such as the disposal of a cigarette butt out of a car window or not completely putting out a campfire, as well as the serious criminal act of arson.

“To report suspicious behaviour call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. There is a reward of up to $50,000 available for information leading to the identification and conviction of people deliberately lighting fires in Western Australia.”

For more information on how to prepare, act, and survive during a bushfire, including information for travellers and campers, visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au

END

Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955

 

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