Wilbinga smoke alert due to prescribed burn

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A smoke alert was issued for Wilbinga, Neergabby, Woodridge, Muckenburra, Beermullah, Boonanarring, Cullalla and Wannamal on Sunday, October 15. File Picture

JUST before 3.30pm on Sunday, October 15 the Department of Parks and Wildlife issued a smoke alert for the Shire of Gingin.

The areas covered by the smoke alert were Wilbinga, Neergabby, Woodridge, Muckenburra, Beermullah, Boonanarring, Cullalla and Wannamal.

The department said the smoke, which was the result of prescribed burns being carried out, was expected to clear by Monday morning.

On Thursday, 12 October 12 the department issues a smoke alert for Seabird to Wanerie, including Ledge Point and Cowalla again due to prescribed burning in the area.

During the past week the department has conducted prescribed burns near Yanchep, Two Rocks and in the Shire of Gingin to manage bushfire risk and for nature conservation and forest management.

Prescribed burning has been carried out 29km north of Gingin on October 14, 20km north-east of Guilderton and 9km north of Gingin on October 11,14km east-south-east of Yanchep on  October 10 as well as 29km and 9km north of Gingin on October 9.

On Tuesday, October 10 the State Government said an extra $5.5 million had been allocated in the 2017-18 Budget to boost prescribed burning.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said spring burning had started with the government capitalising on favourable weather conditions to get bushfire ready ahead of the coming summer months.

In the 2016-17 financial year, the department carried out prescribed burns on 247,360ha – the department’s best result in 29 years.

In its south-west forest regions, the department aims to have 45 per cent of the landscape it manages, about 2.5 million hectares, at less than six years since last burnt.

At the end of the last financial year, it was at 41 per cent.

The extra funding allocation of $5.5 million has enabled the department to undertake additional burning when conditions are suitable, as well as extend employment contracts of seasonal land management employees as required.

Additionally, it provides the department with a greater ability to engage additional contracted earthmoving machines, water tankers and road and traffic management contractors.

The department’s daily proposed prescribed burns can be accessed at http://www.dbca.wa.gov.au/todaysburns

The department advises residents that if the smoke is particularly thick they should shut doors and windows and turn off air-conditioners.

Smoke may reduce visibility on some roads and motorists should take care, turn on headlights and travel at appropriate speeds when travelling in these areas.

People with asthma and pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses should follow their pre-prepared treatment plan.

People with conditions exacerbated by smoke should take precautions in line with their medical advice for these circumstances.

To keep up to date visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: https://facebook.com/dfeswa/, listen to ABC Local Radio or listen to news bulletins.