Burn-off now, with care

Augusta Margaret River Times - - NEWS - War­ren Hately

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.

Pic­ture: Sean Block­sidge

Wall­cliffe Vol­un­teer Bush­fire Bri­gade’s Bob Al­lan in ac­tion.

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