Prescribed burn forum in Busselton today

Smoke from prescribed burns in Busselton earlier this year.

Smoke from prescribed burns in Busselton earlier this year.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services will hold a prescribed burn forum in Busselton today, being the first of its kind in WA.

International, national and state experts will discuss over three days the best practice in prescribed burning and bushfire mitigation.

The Burning Question: Now & Beyond, Western Australian Prescribed Burning Forum 2017 convenes experts in the field to share their perspective and enhance the co-ordination and delivery of prescribed burning programs across WA.

Forum participants will hear from leading American prescribed burning expert, Mike Dueitt, Director of the Prescribed Fire Training Center at the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The forum’s program also includes a field trip to Margaret River, Gracetown and Yallingup to observe best practice and study prescribed burning challenges in the South West.

The forum is being hosted by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management, in partnership with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services; Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; and the Office of Emergency Management.

Support for the forum has also been provided by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department through the Natural Disaster Resilience and National Bushfire Mitigation programs.

Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said bushfire mitigation was a complex task involving a range of government agencies, non-government bodies and the public.

Mr Logan said at the Bushfire Mitigation Summit, several key areas were identified that could be improved including the effective use of human resources, improving knowledge, adapting burning targets, and the need for other forms of mitigation.

“Over the next three days, leading experts in the field will be able to discuss those issues and assess what more can be done to reduce the state’s bushfire risk,” he said.

“I am hopeful that this first of its kind forum will help address what is an increasingly complicated challenge that is the shared responsibility of all Western Australians.”

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said forums like this are an excellent way to collaborate and improve management practices.

Mr Dawson said by the end of the forum we would have the commitment to ensure continuous improvement in the co-ordination and delivery of prescribed burning in WA.

“This forum is all about learning and partnering with others who have affected positive change,” he said.

“As Minister for Environment, it’s encouraging to see state government agencies take the lead in fostering collaboration with their local government colleagues and bushfire brigade volunteers to ensure best practice in WA.”  

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