Redmond resident’s bushfire alert

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Peter Moss points towards the stretch of unmanaged bushland.
Camera IconPeter Moss points towards the stretch of unmanaged bushland.

A Redmond resident is demanding action be taken on unmanaged bushland next to a residential area.

Peter Moss, whose half-acre property is located right next to the bushland, said the area had not been properly managed by the City of Albany and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in five years.

He claims the bushland is filled with paperbark trees, weeds and bracken — easy fuel for a bushfire.

“It’s like sitting on a tinder box out there,” he said.

“The bush land is thicker now because of the last two winters we’ve had.

“Considering there’s no fire breaks between the crown land and us — if that land goes, we have no hope at all.”

Redmond, located 10km west of the city of Albany, was heavily affected during the May bushfire which burned through 17,000ha, fanned by winds gusting to 100km/h.

During the incident, Mr Moss said he was packed and ready to go as the fire tore through his neighbourhood.

“They were really worried that this bushland is going to go as well,” he said.

Despite this close encounter, Mr Moss said nothing had been done since.

A DFES spokeswoman said there was no recent prescribed burning conducted in the bushland as the area was classified as low risk.

“This area is deemed low risk due to the low-lying grass vegetation,” she said,

“Mitigation works on that Unallocated Crown Land will be carried out in early 2019 and include using slashing to clear grass and clearing elevating fuel loads under nearby trees.”

Mr Moss also received a reply from Albany manager of city reserves Jacqui Freeman in October which said the City was not obliged to undertake any work in the bushland.

“The City is not bound to undertake any works on crown land and that ultimately the risk of living in a rural and bushland location carries an inherent risk,” she said.

“Concerning fuel reduction, the City and the Redmond brigade plan fuel reduction in a strategic and environmentally responsible manner, with one burn currently planned to the west of town.”

Mr Moss said he hoped DFES and the City could implement fire breaks to create a barrier between the bushland and the properties in Redmond.

But a DFES spokeswoman said existing fire access tracks would provide enough buffer for the properties.

“Scheduled machine works on this crown land combined with existing fire access tracks maintained by the City of Albany will provide a buffer of approximately 40m between the local government shire reserve and the majority of properties,” she said.

Mr Moss disagreed with the notion and said the fire tracks behind his house were not regularly maintained, and was only cleaned up a week ago.

“I’m not worried so much about the house — I’m just really worried about our lives.”

Mr Moss and his wife will continue to fight for fire breaks to be implemented in the area.

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