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Media Release

State on high alert for bad fire weather over coming week
Thursday 29 January 2015 – 4:00 PM

State on high alert for bad fire weather over coming week

The State’s firefighters are on high alert with lightning and strong winds creating dangerous fire conditions for the next week.

DFES Assistant Commissioner Chris Arnol said there had been approximately 36 reports of fires caused by lightning today, with more expected, and people needed to be alert.

"We are asking people to be especially vigilant in the coming week.

"It’s essential that people who live near bush, even in the metropolitan area, have a well thought out plan for what to do if a fire starts near them.

"It’s also the last week of school holidays and anyone who is travelling or camping needs to keep up to date.”

Assistant Commissioner Arnol said although the sky may appear overcast, the small amounts of  rain forecast would not be enough to extinguish a fire started by lightning.

"Some of the worst fires the State has experienced started in similar weather conditions to what we are expecting over the next week, so we are on high alert,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Arnol said DFES was putting in place extra resources and emergency response staff were on standby.

"Due to the busy fire season so far we are managing fatigue among staff and volunteers.

"Twenty-one DFES staff and volunteers from the Kimberley and Pilbara have flown to Perth to assist at the fire mop-up in Baldivis, and crews in other regional areas are ready to respond when called upon.

He said extra equipment, such as earthmovers, was also at the ready.

"We need to be able to respond as fast as we can and contain these fires because the wind is going to be strong, gusty and persistent.

"I ask that the whole community is also ready to respond immediately when a fire starts.”

The Department of Parks and Wildlife also advises that the upcoming week could be very challenging for bushfire management.

Parks and Wildlife advised forecast weather conditions presented the most unusual combination of lightning (ignition sources), high temperatures, seasonal dryness and fuel loading across the south-west land division that the department’s senior officers had seen in recent times of fire and land management operations.

For information on preparing for bushfires visit www.areyouready.wa.gov.au. To keep up to date with the latest alerts and warnings visit the

DFES website www.dfes.wa.gov.auor follow DFES on Twitter @DFES_WA.

END

Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955
 

 

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