Start getting ready for fire season

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany's Chief Bushfire Officer Gary Duncan and Community Emergency Services Manager Brendan Gordon.
Camera IconCity of Albany's Chief Bushfire Officer Gary Duncan and Community Emergency Services Manager Brendan Gordon. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

As the summer months near and the weather warms, City of Albany residents are being urged to prepare for the restricted burning period.

The North East sector will enter the period from Tuesday, October 1 and the South West sector from Friday, November 1.

The two areas will then enter their prohibited burning periods on November 15 and December 22 respectively, subject to weather conditions.

Residents should be preparing their properties for the fire season by reducing fuel loads and installing and maintaining firebreaks.

All residents are required to prepare under Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954.

City community emergency services manager Brendan Gordon said above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall were expected in parts of the south coastal region, setting up a longer and more severe fire season.

“For this reason the South West sector’s restricted burning period will commence one month earlier than previous years,” he said.

“Throughout the restricted and open seasons in the past year, the bushfire brigades were called to 12 fires that escaped from private burns. Some of these were genuine escapes, while others were through negligence.

“It’s important to remember that it could be an offence to light fires during the prohibited burning periods so always apply for a permit before you burn.

“Don’t leave it to the last minute. Residents should already be preparing their properties for fire season.

“Be responsible when burning and be aware of the weather conditions for at least three days after lighting as conditions can change quickly and the fire can escape and become a danger.”

Property owners will require a permit to burn once the restricted burning period starts.

Permits are available through local brigades at the discretion of the fire control officer.

Mr Gordon said there were more than 800 volunteer firefighters in the City of Albany covering more than 4000sqkm, and resources could become stretched in an emergency.

“This year the City will be focusing on asset protection zones around buildings and residences, so property owners who need to comply should ensure they meet requirements well in advance of inspections,” he said.

For more information visit the DFES and City websites.

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