Camp fires, bar­be­cues ig­nore ban

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Holly Thomp­son

We are in a sea­son where any open flames are banned. Brad Bar­ton

The to­tal fire ban sea­son has started across the South West and au­thor­i­ties have said most peo­ple are do­ing the right thing and fol­low­ing the rules.

Re­gional leader for fire man­age­ment Brad Bar­ton said the only is­sues they had was peo­ple camp­ing in the na­tional parks across the re­gion.

“We are in a sea­son where any open flames are banned in na­tional parks in­clud­ing camp fires and bar­be­cues, but we have had three or four in­stances where we have had to go and put out fires started from these sources,” he said.

“Luck­ily, we have man­aged to con­tain them all fairly quickly and stopped them from turn­ing into any­thing more.”

The only fires per­mit­ted are the pre­scribed burns, which need to be cleared by the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices.

Mr Bar­ton said 50,000ha of land had un­der­gone pre­scribed burns since the end of Oc­to­ber.

He said some peo­ple ques­tioned why they still take on burns at this time of year and ex­plained it was be­cause some of the for­est types took longer to dry out in this re­gion.

“The karri for­est across the south­ern parts of the re­gion is just dry­ing out suf­fi­ciently now and we have got a num­ber of burns planned in the next one to two weeks be­fore ev­ery­thing gets too dry,” he said.

“If we did pre­scribed burns af­ter it be­came too dry, we would ba­si­cally just be repli­cat­ing the thing we are try­ing to stop, which is a bush­fire.”

He said there were strict guide­lines in place for burns at this time of year and they could not burn on any­thing above high fire dan­ger.

“Af­ter it gets too dry for us, that will be the end of the pre­scribed burns un­til next year,” Mr Bar­ton said.

Pic­ture: Tari Jef­fers

Re­gional leader for fire man­age­ment Brad Bar­ton said most peo­ple had been re­spon­si­ble this fire sea­son.

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