A carefully planned program of controlled burning has commenced in the Kimberley to reduce the risk and severity of bushfires this dry season.
Running through to July, the program is designed to reduce fuel loads on pastoral stations, road reserves and other high risk areas.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Kimberley Superintendent Grant Pipe said significant rainfall throughout the wet season had encouraged undergrowth throughout the region, making the annual burn critical.
“The significant wet season we’ve had has produced abundant fuel loads at levels far greater than what we’ve seen in the last few years,” Superintendent Pipe said.
“Considering we had a bushfire in the Shire of Wyndham last year that burned for more than a month due to difficult terrain and destroyed almost two million hectares, it is vitally important that we conduct these burns to reduce bushfire risk.
“This will ultimately help us to protect the community and assets such as property, livestock, wildlife and native vegetation.”
Superintendent Pipe said motorists travelling throughout the Kimberley should drive with caution through smoke affected areas.
“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 with health conditions exacerbated by smoke should take precautions in line with their medical advice for these circumstances.”
People do not need to ring 000 to report controlled burning fires unless they believe lives or homes are under threat.
The burning program is undertaken in partnership with the Kimberley Land Council, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Pastoralist and Grazers Association and Main Roads.
For more information contact the DFES Kimberley Regional Office on (08) 9158 3200.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955.