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  • Prescribed burning an essential tool to protect communities
  • Burning creates lower fuel loads across larger areas of the State's south-west helping to reduce the severity and size of bushfires

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today announced that about 238,000 hectares of prescribed burning had been achieved this season - the best outcome in 29 years.

The last time an amount of this magnitude was achieved was 1987-88, when 252,000ha were burnt.

Prescribed burning significantly reduces the threat and severity of damaging bushfires, minimising the risk to life and infrastructure.

Since July 1, 2016, the Department of Parks and Wildlife has completed 91 burns in national parks, conservation reserves and State forests, from Gingin in the north to Denmark on the south coast as well as in the Perth Hills area.

Parks and Wildlife aims to have 45 per cent of department-managed land in the south-west forest regions with a fuel age of less than six years.

Prescribed burning is highly dependent on suitable weather conditions, fuel moisture and a range of other factors to be undertaken safely.

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"A mix of large landscape and smaller urban prescribed burning is essential to ensure greater protection for our communities.

"An increase in the number of residents living in the hills and regional forest areas, coupled with more people visiting our natural attractions, makes it vitally important that prescribed burning not only continues but is supported and understood by the community.

"Parks and Wildlife has had an outstanding season so far with burns reaching about 238,000ha due to excellent preparation, committed staff and beneficial weather conditions. 

"The department is working hard to achieve as much prescribed burning as it can in the coming weeks, weather permitting and when safe to do so, to ensure the Western Australian community is protected."

Minister's office - 6552 5800

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 or like us on Facebook 

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999