Restrictions anger residents

West Swan resident Roberta Hiskin with some tree cuttings.|Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d420488
West Swan resident Roberta Hiskin with some tree cuttings.|Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d420488

Heavy rain over the past few weeks has meant many landowners have been left with soaking piles of tree cuttings that will either not burn or smoke profusely if ignited.

Permits to burn off have been available since April, but many residents say the stringent conditions prevent many from obtaining them.

West Swan landowner Roberta Hiskin said the only way of keeping her yard trimmed and clear of vegetation was becoming an expensive process.

‘I had some young lady come out last year (at our expense) to tell me I could not burn because my pile was too green, which it wasn’t,’ she said,

‘She had no intention of granting me a permit.

‘I also had Fire4Hire one year with all his tractors, fire truck and equipment yet they still would not let him burn my ditches which were all cluttered up with tree branches from my neighbour.

‘Now my fire pile is under water and will probably stay that way until the end of burning season again.

‘I have had to pay to have my branches hauled away on top of the expense of tree lopping.’

The dates for the restricted burning period are set by the State Government as outlined in the Bush Fires Act 1954.

However, councils have the ability to vary these dates by 14 days.

City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the City elected not to reduce the length of the restricted burning period due to the ongoing high risk.

‘Early seasonal rains, while helpful, did not sufficiently decrease the risk to allow the City to transition to the unrestricted burning period,’ he said.

More than 250 permits were issued since the start of the 2013-14 fire season.

‘Burning permits have been available from the City and bush fire brigades within the City since the start of the restricted burning period,’ Mr Foley said.

‘Initially some restrictions were put in place due to risk.

‘These restrictions were gradually reduced during April. During May permits have been available to be issued on a case by case basis in consultation with the City’s fire control officers.’