Fire passion burns bright
The Department of Parks and Wildlife’s latest Pilbara recruit, Pedro Palheiro, is passionate about fire management.
During the last WA fire season he worked as a seasonal firefighter for the department in the Perth Hills district.
With more than eight years experience planning and conducting prescribed burns and bushfire control in the vast pine forests and rangelands of Portugal, his placement at Millstream-Chichester National Park seems a world away from home.
“Having come from a country that no longer carries out prescribed burns at a landscape level, it is such a great opportunity to be able to use fire again to reduce risks to life and property, and to burn for the purposes of nature conservation,” he said.
In the coming months, he will meet with pastoralists, resource companies and indigenous communities to share the latest fuel age maps, and gain local knowledge on the timing of prescribed burning for pastoral and other objectives.
“The Pilbara and Fortescue catchment has already impressed me with its broad landscapes and magnificent permanent water holes,” he said.
“I have helped with several prescribed burns at Millstream-Chichester National Park and beyond in my first month in the Pilbara, and am still staggered at the size of the region.”
To find out more about the department’s fire management and prescribed burning activities visit dpaw.wa. gov.au/management/fire.
Funding for this project has been provided through NRM Rangelands Western Australia and Rio Tinto Iron Ore.
Ranger Sandy Benson and Pedro Palheiro at a prescribed burn in Millstream-Chichester National Park.