Emergency services personnel in the State’s north have joined forces to warn the community against deliberately lit bushfires.
The warning comes as firefighters in the Kimberley and Pilbara prepare to respond to bushfires this northern bushfire season.
Since the start of 2019, there have been 344 bushfires in the North West, with 145 of those suspicious or deliberately lit.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Chief Superintendent Country North Paul Carr said DFES and WA Police were united in the fight against arson.
“We continue to see a high number of deliberately lit fires in the north which is extremely dangerous as we enter the bushfire season,” Chief Superintendent Carr said.
“Deliberately lit fires put a lot of unnecessary pressure on firefighting resources and can cause significant and lasting damage to people, property and our environment.
“The penalties for arson are severe and we are committed to working with WA Police to catch those responsible and stamp out this criminal behaviour.”
The warning comes as the annual Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC 2019 Northern Australia Season Bushfire Outlook is released today.
The outlook indicates normal fire potential for northern Western Australia, however dry conditions still pose a concern.
“Although it’s predicted to be normal fire conditions, people cannot afford to be complacent as all it takes is for one bushfire to start near houses on a hot and windy day and cause devastation,” Chief Superintendent Carr said.
“We urge the community to stay alert and report suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000; and if they see smoke or flames to call 000.”
For information on how to prepare and respond to bushfires visit emergency.wa.gov.au
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543.