Burn-off now, with care
Shire residents are urged to use the mild weather to burn off on their properties, but firefighters have warned them to keep piles small and under control because of dry conditions in surrounding bushland.
Volunteer brigades were busy with controlled burning at the weekend in ideal conditions and praised residents for doing the same.
Shire community emergency services manager Chris Lloyd was quick to note the size of burn piles determined the intensity of the heat, which needed strict monitoring even outside of peak bushfire season.
“If you reduce the amount of fuel around your property, a bushfire will burn more slowly and will generate less heat,” he said.
“This will reduce the risk to your home and assist firefighters in extinguishing a fire.
“The weather conditions in winter and early spring will assist you in safely and effectively conducting your pile burn.
“These piles should be of a manageable size and can be safely controlled if around 1m x 1m in size.”
Wallcliffe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade also said the time to conduct safe burn-offs was closing fast.
“If you are doing your own burn piles, you need to understand the weather forecast regarding winds and temperatures for the duration of your burn,” a spokesman said.
“You need to be wearing appropriate clothing. You need your own water source. And never leave your burn pile.”
Last bushfire season, brigades dealt with absentee landowners who lit burn piles and then returned to Perth.
“The fires escaped and the volunteers and Parks and Wildlife were left to clean up the mess,” the brigade said.
“You need to stay with your burn pile.”
Volunteers noted aboveaverage debris and fuel loads due to recent winter storms and said hand-clearing as well as non-burning approaches to fuel reduction were encouraged. For more information on burn-offs, visit dfes.wa.gov.au and search for the winter burning guide.
Wallcliffe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade’s Bob Allan in action.