News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Tuesday, 05 November 2013 16:13

DPaW firefighters busy in the south-west

Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) firefighters have been responding to more than a dozen fires across the State since early yesterday.

DPaW regional duty officer Brad Barton said more than 50 personnel working out of 16 trucks and three earth-moving machines had been activated in DPaW’s Donnelly District alone to attack bushfires in the area and to assist with fires on private property.

“Our staff have been working hard over the last 48 hours to get these fires under control and ensure they don’t impact lives, homes, infrastructure and our environment,” he said.

“Thunderstorms brought lightning that started the fires in the area, which were fuelled by hot weather and some wind. One fire began as a result of a private landholder’s roadside burn-off.

“Milder and more favourable conditions today have assisted our efforts so we can now concentrate mostly on mopping up.”

Across the south-west of the State, a bushfire in the Dingup State Forest that had the potential to threaten homes yesterday afternoon in the locality of Middlesex, south-east of Manjimup, has been contained.

Two fires south of Muir’s Highway, east of Manjimup, a fire near Tonebridge in the Shire of Boyup Brook and a fire in Wellington National Park have now been declared all clear.

In addition, water bombers are assisting DPaW firefighters with suppression efforts of a fire that started last night at Tordit-Gurrup Lagoon in Lake Muir Nature Reserve in inaccessible country.

Mr Barton said it was a reminder that all landowners needed to prepare their properties for the bushfire season and future seasons ahead.

Preparing for bushfire is everyone’s responsibility and the community has a key role to play.

“DPaW recently began itsspring prescribed burning program in the south-west to help reduce risks on departmental landand will continue to take safe and effective opportunities to burn.”

Meanwhile, in the north of WA, a fire at Geikie Gorge near Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley that began on the weekend is now contained despite 45 degree plus temperatures yesterday. Fire crews are mopping up and will walk roadways to check for hazards. It is expected to be at least two days before the area is declared safe. 

DPaW firefighters have been monitoring a bushfire near Onslow since last Wednesday. The fire burnt about 4,500 hectares along the North West Coastal Highway. It has now been declared all clear.

For information about fires on DPaW-managed land visit www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/news/alerts

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 10:31

Fighting fit for fire season

Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) staff are gearing up for the coming bushfire season by strapping on heavy backpacks and hitting the streets this month to test their fitness for the summer ahead.

DPaW regional fire operations officer Bradley Reynolds said fire-related duties were often physically demanding and it was vital that staff involved in fire were healthy and in top shape.

“People near Perth’s DPaW offices in Crawley and Kensington may have noticed groups of walkers marching quickly around the area and wearing strange, black vests,” he said.

“They would have been taking part in the annual fire fitness assessment by doing what we call the ‘pack test’, which involves walking with a weighted vest carrying 11.3kg over a distance of 3.22km within 30 minutes.

“Those involved in more arduous tasks during fire season must pass a ‘walk and functional assessment’, consisting of a 4.8km walk within 45 minutes plus a functional assessment, which examines aspects of strength, coordination and flexibility.

“The ‘pack test’ and ‘walk and functional assessment’ are designed for staff who need to work directly on the fire ground but we also test those involved in support roles during a bushfire, who don’t need to get as close to the action, with a 1.6km walk to be completed within 16 minutes.”

DPaW Fire Management Services Branch Manager Murray Carter said the fitness training was an important component of pre-bushfire season groundwork.

“Fire fitness assessments and the training run by the department in the months leading up to them are essential for supporting our fire management capabilities and for giving our staff the confidence to do their important work for the people of WA,” he said.

“The required medical appraisals that are carried out alongside fitness tests also allow us to identify any health issues that may affect an employee’s ability to properly complete fire-related duties and lower their risk of harm.

“As part of other preparations for the bushfire season, DPaW has been conducting prescribed burns across the south-west of the State throughout autumn and winter and will soon begin the annual spring burning program, which involves using fire under mild weather conditions.

“Prescribed burning is the primary tool available to DPaW to control the build up of flammable fuel to mitigate the severity of bushfires.”

To find out more about DPaW’s fire management and prescribed burning activities, visit dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/fire or like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 00:00

Crucial prescribed burns completed across WA

The Department of Parks and Wildlife’s (DPaW) autumn-winter prescribed burning program in the State’s south west is drawing to a close with some crucial burns completed in Yellagonga Regional Park and Yanchep, Gnangara and Pinjar pine plantations near Perth to manage bushfire risk.

Wetter than usual conditions delayed some burns, which will be carried over to the spring burning program – the main season for favourable prescribed burning conditions – due to commence in the coming weeks.

DPaW Perth Hills District Fire Coordinator Michael Pasotti said 20 individual burns had been started or completed in the hills area this year including a few very difficult but strategic burns to protect homes and infrastructure on the urban fringes.

“We were able to finish a couple of really tough burns around Gooseberry Hill in areas that hadn’t been burnt for a long time, in extremely steep, often inaccessible terrain next to highly vulnerable properties,” he said.

“There were very high fuel loads and some small windows of opportunity to complete burning due to the slope and aspect of the land and the particular drying cycles of the fuels involved.

“We also completed about 55km of edging on some larger prescribed burns that are scheduled for ignition in early spring in the Avon Valley National Park and east of Pickering Brook. Edging creates a fuel-free buffer around the perimeter of the burn area before core ignition, which helps contain the burn within its boundaries.

“In some instances our staff were assisted by local volunteer bushfire brigades and we would like to thank those who joined us in completing some of these burns.”

DPaW Kimberley Regional Fire Coordinator Ed Hatherley said planning and implementing the early dry season prescribed burning program in the region, which finished in June, involved the participation of traditional owners and other partners with a number of key successes.

“Prescribed burning was carried out across an area of approximately 5 million hectares in the North Kimberley, with about 1 million hectares of land burnt under mild conditions,” he said. “And the hard work is already paying off.

“DPaW has also been involved in combating recent bushfires at Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve and Mitchell Plateau, which were prevented from spreading when they ran into areas prescribed burnt earlier this year. DPaW in consultation with Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners assisted in the containment of the Mitchell Plateau fire.” 

Burns were also completed in other areas of the State including DPaW’s South West, Warren, South Coast and Wheatbelt regions. Like the Kimberley, the bushfire season has begun in the Goldfields, Midwest and Pilbara regions with some prescribed burning continuing when conditions allow.

Prescribed burning is the primary tool available to DPaW to control the build up of flammable fuel to mitigate the severity of bushfires.

To find out more about DPaW’s fire management and prescribed burning activities visit dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/fire or like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/dpawwa 

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE