A carefully managed prescribed burns program has started in the Kimberley to reduce the risk and severity of bushfires this dry season.
Designed to lessen fuel loads on pastoral stations, road reserves and other high risk areas, the burns take place every year between April and July with the aid of a helicopter.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) personnel assist pastoralists in establishing a fire management plan for their properties.
Kimberley Superintendent Grant Pipe said despite a very dry wet season, fuel loads were still significant and posed a fire danger for local communities.
“The strategic burns will assist with the upcoming bushfire season,” Superintendent Pipe said. “Last season was a very busy fire season, and we are mindful that vegetation and other fuel loads are still abundant.
“Our aerial burns are critical and are designed to create low fuel areas that will decrease the potential for large bushfires to develop across the landscape. Ultimately, the prescribed burns will 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 impacted by smoke, pull over, turn your hazard lights on and wait until the smoke clears,” he said. “If you have a health condition that is exacerbated by smoke, seek medical advice on precautions to take.
The burning program is undertaken in partnership with the Kimberley Land Council, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Broome’s Traditional Owners, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, the WA Pastoralist and Grazers Association and Main Roads WA.
For more information, contact the DFES Kimberley Regional Office on (08) 9158 3200.