Prescribed Burn Program Outlined

Prescribed Burn Program Outlined

Western Australia Minister for Environment Bill Marmion

Prescribed Burning Focus On Perth Hills

Victor P Taffa

  • 75 burns covering 32,370 ha started or completed
  • State Government affirms support for DEC’s prescribed burning program

Fine weather this week has allowed the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to step up its prescribed burning program near communities in the Perth Hills and the pine plantations north of Wanneroo.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said DEC had undertaken burns near Kalamunda, Jarrahdale, Dwellingup, Two Rocks and Yanchep this week. Burns have also begun in other parts of the south-west, including:

  • Balingup,
  • Collie,
  • Denmark,
  • Gracetown,
  • Harvey,
  • Preston Beach.
  • Walpole,
  • Yallingup.

“Although many of these burns are quite small, they will reduce fuel loads on DEC-managed lands where they adjoin townships.” Mr. Marmion said.

“These areas of low fuels will help lessen the intensity of bushfires and give fire crews ‘anchors’ from which to attack running bushfires.”

The Minister acknowledged that between July 1 and November 11, DEC had started or completed 75 burns covering more than 32,370ha in the south-west.

“Significantly, this year DEC has started or completed 45 burns across more than 14,500 ha in its Swan Region between Lancelin and Dwellingup, compared with 32 burns across 5,160 ha at this time last year.” Mr. Marmion said.

“One recommendation from the Keelty review of the 2011 Perth Hills fires was that the State Government reaffirm its 2009 decision to approve DEC exercising greater flexibility in managing smoke within national guidelines, in order to achieve its target.”

“Mr. Keelty found the Roleystone-Kelmscott bushfire was extinguished on one front when it entered a section of Banyowla Regional Park that had been the subject of a prescribed burn by DEC four years ago. This demonstrates how important it is to carry out prescribed burns on the urban-bush interface.”

“Accordingly the Liberal-National Government supports DEC’s prescribed burning program, and in particular approves DEC exercising greater flexibility in applying smoke management guidelines. I acknowledge that from time to time there are smoke impacts and I do thank the community for their tolerance in relation to smoke while these strategically important prescribed burns are being undertaken.” Mr. Marmion said.

Fact File

  • Prescribed burns create low-fuel areas in a mosaic of burnt and unburnt patches across the landscape, which help stem the spread of bushfires