Controlled aerial burns to lessen fire risk in dry

Staff ReportersThe Kimberley Echo
Prescribed burning in the Kimberley countryside.
Camera IconPrescribed burning in the Kimberley countryside. Credit: Kimberley Land Council/Kimberley Land Council

Controlled aerial burns have started in the Kimberley to reduce the effects of large-scale fires during the region’s dry season.

The burns have carried out from this month with the aid of a helicopter on pastoral stations, road reserves and other high-risk areas and should continue until July.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Kimberley acting Supt. Glenn Hall said fuel loads had grown significantly over the past few months and posed a danger for local communities.

“The associated rainfall from ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther and other systems throughout the wet season has resulted in a high fuel load, and increased risk across the Kimberley,” he said.

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“DFES works closely with Traditional Owners and pastoralists to develop bespoke fire management plans to mitigate bushfire risks.

“We’re all working together to try to lessen the probability and severity of bushfires, and ultimately their effects on the region.”

He said the aerial burning program would create buffers that will assist in reducing the impact of large bushfires during the high-threat period.

The aerial-controlled burning program has been modified to limit potential COVID-19 exposure to stakeholders, volunteers and DFES personnel.

Supt. Hall said he encouraged all Kimberley residents to keep up to date with controlled aerial burns in their area.

“Prescribed burning will be taking place over the coming weeks so visit emergency.wa.gov.au to stay informed,” he said.

The burning program is undertaken in partnership with the Kimberley Land Council, Traditional Owners, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Parks and Wildlife Service, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, the WA Pastoralist and Graziers Association and Main Roads WA.

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