Get fire ready

Southern Telegraph - - News - El­lie Honey­bone

WA’s South West is be­ing urged to pre­pare for a long and tough bushfire sea­son, as lack of rain­fall, soil dry­ness and high fuel loads have re­sulted in an in­creased fire risk pre­dic­tion.

Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices South Coastal su­per­in­ten­dent Greg Feeney said ev­ery­one should be aware of the threat of fire, par­tic­u­larly res­i­dents who live in ar­eas on the ru­ral-ur­ban fringe such as Bal­divis and bush­land ar­eas in Kwinana.

“If you live or travel near bush, you are at risk of bushfire,” he said.

“All it takes is one very hot, windy day for dev­as­ta­tion to oc­cur.”

Mr Feeney said fam­i­lies should have a bushfire sur­vival plan and pre­pare their prop­er­ties by prun­ing back trees, cut­ting long grass and clear­ing gut­ters.

“Sub­ur­ban res­i­dents who do not live in direct con­tact with bush should still take note, as em­ber at­tack is the most com­mon way houses are de­stroyed dur­ing a bushfire and em- bers can be car­ried by the wind,” he said. The City of Rock­ing­ham has been busy preparing for the up­com­ing fire sea­son and Mayor Barry Sam­mels said last sea­son was the busiest bushfire sea­son ever recorded in the city.

“The City’s two vol­un­teer bushfire brigades at­tended nearly 200 in­ci­dents dur­ing sum­mer last year,” he said.

“We are con­duct­ing fuel re­duc­tion burns up to Novem­ber 30, and all pre­scribed burns to date have been suc­cess­ful, with no fires be­com­ing un­con­trolled.”

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said vol­un­teer bushfire brigades have com­pleted off-sea­son train­ing and main­te­nance in prepa­ra­tion for sum­mer.

“Last year both ca­reer and vol­un­teer fire ser­vices at­tended to more than 650 emer­gency calls for help from within the bound­aries of the City,” she said.

She said pre­scribed burns were car­ried out un­der su­per­vi­sion along road verges, on and around re­serves that might be lo­cated near homes.

Pic­ture: City of Kwinana

The City of Kwinana is ready for bushfire sea­son.

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