Prescribed burns best in 29 years

About 238,000 hectares of prescribed burning has been achieved this season including burns in the Gingin and Yanchep areas.

IN the past 10 months the Department of Parks and Wildlife has completed 91 burns in national parks, conservation reserves and state forests, from Gingin  and Yanchep in the north to Denmark on the south coast as well as in the Perth Hills area.

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

Mr Dawson said the previous best outcome was during 1987-88, when 252,000ha were burnt.

He said prescribed burning significantly reduced the threat and severity of damaging bushfires, minimising the risk to life and infrastructure.

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.

Mr Dawson said a mix of big landscape and smaller urban prescribed burning was essential to ensure greater protection of 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,’’ he said.