Act now to save lives
THE bushfire season has officially begun and local firefighters are urging residents to start their summer preparation now.
Deputy chief bushfire control officer Matt Plowman, of the Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade, said most brigades were ready year-round but now was the time to focus on hazard reduction.
“The burning off process will go from now until the end of November,” he said.
“Prohibited burning time starts in December; if something burns then, it’s not meant to burn.”
Mr Plowman said last year was a quieter season, especially after the Yarloop and Waroona fires, but it was difficult to predict which way the coming season would go.
“Fires don’t start themselves; they’re subject to storm activity coming through, people cause wilful damage, it’s subject to what happens,” he said.
“We’ve had a pretty good winter, it’s been wet.
“But we say every year if it’s been a dry winter, it’s going to be a bad fire season; if it’s a wet winter, it’s going to be a bad fire season because there’s more fuel.”
The Roleystone resident has been involved with the brigade for 18 years, with his father in the brigade for as long as he can remember.
“I find it rewarding. I enjoy working with the community, building friendships within and outside the brigade, all those kinds of things,” Mr Plowman said.
“I enjoy the challenges of it and the training.
“The biggest eye-opener to me was the Kelmscott Roleystone fire.
“It wasn’t so much the fire behaviour, it was areas that burnt that I thought wouldn’t be too bad, like Buckingham Bridge. That critical infrastructure was lost and the effect that had for the next couple of months was full on.”
Residents through Armadale and Gosnells should look at what they need to do to get fire season ready, with people on rural properties urged to reduce their fuel load either through burning permits or green waste sites.
“People should prep all year round, but now is when you should really start getting ready,” Mr Plowman said.
City of Armadale deputy chief bushfire control officer Matt Plowman.