19 Of 22 Bushfires Lit By Arsonists

19 Of 22 Bushfires Lit By Arsonists

Western Australia Minister for Environment Bill Marmion

Busy Holiday Season For DEC Fire Crews

Victor P Taffa

Fire Crews from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) have attended nearly 40 bushfires across the South-West and along the south coast over the Christmas and New Year Period.

Minister for Environment Bill Marmion said today that DEC staff throughout the State, including a 60-strong pre-formed incident management team, had worked at times around-the-clock on some of the fires to ensure communities in the South-West were kept safe.

“Crews have been dealing with extremely hot, dry and windy weather conditions. Fortunately, through quick action, and the support of volunteer bushfire brigades, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority and Local Government, they have managed to quickly control most of the bushfires and prevent any significant injury or loss of property.” Mr. Marmion said.

 

The Minister said he was very concerned that 19 of the 22 bushfires between December 25 and January 3 in DEC’s Swan Region which extends between Guilderton and Waroona were apparently the result of arson.

“Most of these fires were contained to less than a few hundred square metres because of DEC’s rapid response and support of local brigades.” the Minister said.

“It is very disturbing there is an element in the community that gets thrills out of stealing cars and then torching them in bushland.”

“These blazes potentially can turn into major destructive fires, especially in the pines.  People with information in respect to these fires are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

Mr. Marmion said DEC’s Extensive Prescribed Burning Program had been a key factor in successfully preventing several bushfires from spreading to nearby homes or developing into major bushfires.

“Prescribed Burning reduces the amount of fuel available to burn and consequently reduces the potential size and intensity of bushfires. Prescribed burns also protect and enhance conservation values and ecological processes in WA’s forests, parks and reserves.” the Minister said.

The Minister said DEC also acknowledged the support it had received from the Forest Products Commission, WA Police, Water Corporation, Western Power, Salvation Army, State Emergency Service, Main Roads, Telstra and local contractors who assisted with the recent fires.