DFES calls on landowners to begin planning smart burn offs as high-threat bushfire period ends

Picture: File Image.
Picture: File Image.

Following "intense" January bushfires in Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay, Department of Fire and Emergency Services has called on landowners to begin planning smart burn offs on their properties.

Thursday April 28, marked the end of The Department of Fire and Emergency Services' high-threat period for the south of WA.

Local governments are now lifting restricted and prohibited burning periods to allow private landowners to do controlled burns.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm warned poorly managed burns could have devastating consequences.

"In the wrong conditions, a planned burn can escape your property and become an uncontrollable bushfire that threatens lives and homes," he said.

The department is providing advice through the Burn SMART campaign, which guides landowners through developing a burn plan for their property, understanding fuel and weather conditions and meeting local requirements.

Commissioner Klemm said planned burns played a critical role in protecting communities from intense summer blazes, such as January's bushfire in Eagle Bay.

"Several burns carried out around the Dunsborough townsite and golf course by the City of Busselton with the support of DFES in autumn 2021 meant there was less fuel around assets and access was much easier for firefighters," he said.

"Lower fuel loads also provided an opportunity to reallocate resources and ensure communities along Cape Naturaliste Road were protected."

DFES said a well-managed planned burn could reduce fuel loads without adversely affecting wildlife and ecosystems.

More than 125 volunteer firefighters took part in specialised DFES courses last year that taught them how to assist planned burns safely.

More training courses are scheduled later this year and will be run by volunteers and career personnel at a local level.

To view and download Burn SMART resources visit dfes.wa.gov.au/plannedburning