Landholders encouraged to Burn SMART ahead of bushfire season
As the southern half of the State enters the restricted burning period, private landholders are being urged to take the necessary precautions to prevent planned burns escalating into serious bushfires, while still getting essential burning done.
Successful planned burns can significantly reduce fuel loads and the potential for major fire damage during bushfire season, but it is crucial they are conducted safely.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has launched a planned burning “How-To” video series as part of its Burn SMART campaign to help small landholders manage fuel loads and reduce bushfire intensity.
In the past 12 months there have been a large number of escaped burns across the State, the majority on private property, some of which escalated into bushfires that threatened lives and homes.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said escapes from poorly planned burns put lives and homes at risk and placed unnecessary pressure on firefighting resources, yet many could be prevented.
“With more than 90 per cent of Western Australia bushfire-prone, well managed planned burning is an effective way to reduce the amount of flammable material on properties,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“A well-managed planned burn can reduce the impact and spread of bushfire, potentially saving homes, livestock and other assets.”
Commissioner Klemm said the Burn SMART resources, which included a planned burn guide and checklist would help to ensure landowners were well prepared to manage a planned burn in mild and stable conditions.
“Burn SMART provides up to date, expert guidance for landholders to conduct safe burns, which go a long way in protecting homes and property, the wider community and local environment,” he said.
Commissioner Klemm urged landowners to plan ahead to avoid burning in the wrong conditions, including being aware of forecast weather and moisture levels and checking burning restrictions and rules with local government authorities.
To view and download Burn SMART resources visit dfes.wa.gov.au/plannedburning
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543.