The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has launched a guide to safe burn-offs after a review of the bushfire emergency that threatened homes in Albany two years ago. DFES this week launched its Burn SMART guide, a new campaign aimed at reducing the risk of fire escaping from private properties. The guide was a direct recommendation by the Office of Bushfire Management after a review into the May 2018 bushfires that forced the evacuation of residents across the Albany district. Firefighting resources across the region were stretched to their limits as crews battled blazes on all sides of Albany. Crews from around the State had to be sent in to help exhausted local volunteer firefighters battle about 50 fires across the district, many of which emanated from private burns. Two prescribed burns escaped from the Torndirrup and Stirling Range national parks. By the time blazes were brought under control, buildings had been destroyed, livestock killed and thousands of hectares razed. Executive director of DFES’ rural fire division Murray Carter said Burn SMART laid out a set of guidelines and checklists which landholders should consider before undertaking burns on their property. Nearly 75 per cent of all escaped burns in WA over the past three years started on private properties, according to a DFES spokeswoman. DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm said Burn SMART focused on the actions landholders needed to take before, during and after conducting burns. “We live in a State that is over 90 per cent bushfire prone so having the tools under our belt for best burning practice is beneficial for both landholders and their local community because it can help save lives and homes,” Mr Klemm said. Mr Klemm said the wrong conditions could cause a burn to get out of control very quickly. “Planned burning is vital to reduce the risk of bushfires, but people are often unaware of the personal responsibility that comes with lighting and extinguishing one,” he said. “I urge all landholders who want to undertake mitigation work on their properties to Plan Smart and Burn SMART to help protect their properties ahead of the next bushfire season.” Burn SMART is the first public resource created by the Bushfire Centre of Excellence, which was established to harness and share valuable bushfire knowledge and experience to benefit the community.