‘Eerie’ weather sparks Albany and Denmark burnings bans

Albany AdvertiserAlbany Advertiser
A volunteer firefighter mops up an escaped private burn in King River in May last year.
Camera IconA volunteer firefighter mops up an escaped private burn in King River in May last year. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

The City of Albany and Shire of Denmark have imposed burning restrictions and issued urgent warnings about dangerous weather conditions expected across the region this week.

The City of Albany will invoke Section 46 of the Bushfires Act by requiring permits to light open fires from 7am on Wednesday to midnight on Friday.

Penalties will apply for anyone who lights fires in the open without a permit during that period.

“This coming Thursday there are strong northeasterly winds 25 to 40kmh becoming northerly 25 to 35kmh in the evening,” a City spokeswoman said.

The Shire of Denmark, meanwhile, issued a statement late this afternoon prohibiting the lighting of fires until Saturday morning.

All current fires must be extinguished.

The Shire’s statement warned this week's weather forecast was "eerily similar" to the weather patterns seen during the region’s bushfire disaster in May last year.

“The dry and gusty weather conditions forecast for this week are eerily similar to the weather patterns that contributed to last May’s devastating bushfires across the Great Southern,” the Shire said.

“The Chief Bushfire Control Officer with the Shire of Denmark will be prohibiting the lighting of fires for the rest of today until 9am Saturday, 8th June. Any current fires also need to be extinguished.

“Please contact the Fire Control Officer for your area or the Shire of Denmark 9848 0300 for any queries or if you currently have burns underway."

Most of the bushfires which threatened lives and homes in May last year were escaped private burns and “dormant fires” fanned by strong, warm winds in excess of 120km/h.

Those fires occurred during an unrestricted burning period.

The permit period in the south-west sector of Albany was extended this year to May 14, having previously finished on April 30.

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