Forum to discuss hot-button topics

Daryna ZadvirnaAlbany Advertiser
Firefighters mop up after a fire in Denmark.
Camera IconFirefighters mop up after a fire in Denmark. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany AdvertiserPicture: Laurie Benson

A fire forum will be held in Denmark next month to teach residents about the nature of fire and prescribed burning.

The Denmark Chamber of Commerce, Denmark Environment Centre and Denmark Ratepayers and Residents Association have joined forces for the first time to co-host the 31/2-hour forum.

The speakers will include community experts, scientists and university professors who will address a range of subjects including the effect of fire on biodiversity, cultural burning, and fire science.

Denmark Chamber of Commerce president John Maxwell, who is also a volunteer firefighter, said it was an important topic which had been at the forefront of many people’s minds.

“I’m well aware of the potential problems in this area and it’s a case of alerting people and giving them correct information on controlled burns,” he said.

“The perceived idea is that controlled burns will just lay waste to everything, which they can do if they’re not managed properly, and of course there is a big push now to look at the indigenous methods of controlled burning.”

Representatives from the Shire of Denmark and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, as well as Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman will speak at the event.

“There are different views around prescribed burning, but I happen to be a strong supporter,” Mr Redman said.

“I think it’s the only effective landscape level strategy to reduce the risk of wildfire.

“It’s something that has to have broader community support and I think what’s happening on the east coast now is the risk of not taking strong strategies in that area.”

Denmark Environment Centre Fire Mitigation Group spokesman Bart Lebbing said the forum was about education.

“This is a highly topical subject in Australia today,” he said.

“In an environment such as we have here in Denmark, we all need to understand the risks and possible solutions if there should be a major fire here.”

The event will be held at the Denmark Civic Centre at 6pm on February 25.

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