Western Australia’s heightened fire risk

Western Australia’s heightened fire risk

WA FIREFIGHTERS are preparing for another busy season in the state’s south, with above-average fire potential forecast for 2015-16.

The above average fire potential for much of the State’s southern half, highlighted in the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2015-16, was attributed to low rainfall, lack of soil moisture and high fuel loads, and comes off the back of a record 2014-15 season in which fire crews battled 4000 fires.

More than half of those were in the Perth metropolitan area.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) chief superintendent Brad Delavale said anyone who lived or travelled near bushland needed to prepare for a hot summer.

“Simple actions to take include pruning back trees, cutting long grass, clearing your roof gutters and removing rubbish from around your house,” he said.

“Sit down with your family and prepare a bushfire survival plan that outlines what you will do if a bushfire occurs.

“Practise this plan regularly with your family.”

Mr Delavale said DFES was well and truly into its own pre-season, working with local governments and other agencies to minimise the risk of bush fires, and putting career and volunteer firefighters through extensive training.

“Fire services were tested during the 2014-15 bushfire season but rose to the challenge,” he said.

“The 2014-15 bushfire season highlighted the importance of working together with other agencies to provide a coordinated approach to managing incidents.

“DFES will continue to work with the community to improve WA’s capability to respond to fires in the future.”