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Media Release

Kimberley residents urged to prepare for increased fire risk
Friday 10 July 2020 – 7:30 AM

​Communities in Northern WA are being warned of a potentially significant bushfire season with an increased risk in the Kimberley.

The quarterly Bushfire Natural Hazards CRC Australian Seasonal Outlook, released today, predicts above normal fire conditions for the Shires of Broome and Halls Creek and parts of the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley.

The heightened fire threat is the result of heavy recent rainfall from Tropical Cyclones Blake, Damien and Esther, which contributed to an increase in soil moisture and fuel loads in the North West.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services works with relevant stakeholders to carry out mitigation works in the Kimberley, including prescribed burning and creating low-fuel areas, in an effort to protect critical areas or infrastructure from the impact of bushfires.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said responding to a bushfire was a shared responsibility and people needed to play their part.

“I urge the community to have a 5 Minute Fire Chat and plan what they will do if a bushfire threatens their area,” Commissioner Klemm said.

“You need to consider three key questions – when will you know to leave, where will you go, and which way will you go?

“While residents in the State’s north have experienced relatively mild bushfire seasons in recent years, today’s outlook is a reminder they cannot be complacent.

“To ensure we are prepared for the possibility of large-scale fires, firefighters in the Kimberley are undertaking extensive training, upskilling and reviewing firefighting equipment.

“In the meantime, with a predicted late start to the northern bushfire season, we remind residents of the Kimberley that they still have time to reduce fuel loads on their properties.”

The outlook also indicates that although the State’s south has experienced prolonged dryness, current wet and cool conditions will restore moisture in soil and result in a normal fire risk this winter.

For more information on how to prepare for a bushfire visit emergency.wa.gov.au 

Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543. 

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