Travellers through the Kimberley may encounter smoke due to the start of the annual burning program, which aims to reduce the severity of bushfires in the region.
Aerial and controlled burns form the bulk of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) risk reduction strategies ahead of the Kimberley dry season, approximately June to November.
DFES Kimberley Superintendent Grant Pipe said the program had been running successfully for many years and was a vital part of keeping the regional communities safe.
“Bushfires happen every dry season and the hazard reduction burning currently underway reduces the risk of these fires and can slow and even stop them from spreading,” Superintendent Pipe said.
“Hazard reduction burns are essential to reduce the impact of bushfires on the community, and to protect livestock and the unique flora and fauna of the Kimberley.”
During last year’s Kimberley bushfire season there were 471 fires, and officers are expecting a similarly busy season this year.
“The burn program focuses on reducing fuel loads near roadsides and on pastoral land, as our priority is protecting lives and assets,” Superintendent Pipe said.
The burns program runs until June and Superintendent Pipe warned motorists to be careful when travelling through areas affected by smoke.
“If you are driving in an area impacted by smoke, pull over, turn your hazard lights on and wait until the smoke clears,” he said.
People do not need to ring 000 to report controlled burning fires unless they believe lives or homes are under threat.
The burning is conducted in partnership with Local Governments, Main Roads WA and pastoral stations.
For more information contact the DFES Kimberley Regional Office on (08) 9158 3200.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955