Bushfire fears flare

Concern is growing as the bushfire season approaches.
Concern is growing as the bushfire season approaches.

Local police and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) have warned residents about the need to be vigilant after a wetter than usual spring, which has increased potential fuel for fires.

York Police Acting Sergeant Jamie Uncle said police, Shire of York rangers and the fire department would all patrol the town for any suspicious activity.

There were multiple reports of arson in the Avon Valley last year, with more than 10 fires thought to have been deliberately lit.

‘It has already been brought to our attention that someone decided to take some aerosol cans to try to set fire to the median strip in Newcastle and Lincoln streets,’ he said.

‘While this was only a small fire, it proves that there are still people out there who have little or no regard to the consequences.’

Detective Senior Constable Francois Pero, from Wheatbelt Detectives, also warned residents about the arson risk.

‘In my opinion, it does not matter what the link is between climate change and bushfires because we, as a community, are aware and choose to live in an area where bushfires are a real risk,’ he said.

‘The past season has been good to us concerning the better rainfall but, unfortunately, it has increased the risk of bushfires due to the higher fuel load.

‘The grass makes it easier for a bushfire to start and it allows for firebugs to wreak havoc with minimal effort or preparation.’

Sven Andersen, district officer of the Northam DFES office, said the authority was as prepared as it could be for what could be a horror fire season.

‘We are as prepared as we can be’