Fire pas­sion burns bright

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

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.

Pic­ture: Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife

Ranger Sandy Ben­son and Pe­dro Pal­heiro at a pre­scribed burn in Mill­stream-Chich­ester Na­tional Park.

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