Rural landholders and residents have been urged to prepare their properties and business operations for an elevated risk of bushfires this season.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has a wealth of preparatory measures on its Season 2022 webpage, as well as crucial advice for animal owners in the event of a fire emergency.
DPIRD incident and emergency management director Pam I’Anson encouraged landholders to take action now.
“There have been several recent fires in the Wheatbelt, while the widespread distribution of bushfires last summer demonstrates that no landholder is immune to the risk,” she said.
“It is not too late for landholders to implement fire mitigation activities and familiarise themselves with the emergency response actions and resources so they can act quickly and decisively if there is a fire.”
The Season 2022 webpage includes a link to the Fire on Farms in Western Australia – Reducing the risks article with information on identifying hazards and how to make a farm fire-safe.
There is also a link to an ‘Oats: hay production’ article with advice on how to prevent spontaneous combustion in hay sheds, caused by inadequate airflow.
Visitors to the page can also find a link to the DFES website, where a free online Bushfire Plan template can be downloaded.
In the event of a bushfire, owners of livestock, pets and companion animals are encouraged to follow the Animal Welfare directions on the emergency.wa.gov.au Bushfire Alerts.
“These actions are governed by the Australian Warning System’s levels, including yellow for Advice, orange for Watch and Act, red for an Emergency Warning and black and white for All Clear,” Ms I’Anson said.
“It is important to stay up to date with the advice by visiting emergency.wa.gov.au and re-checking the website regularly for updates, as conditions can change suddenly during a bushfire.
“Animal owners can print or bookmark the DPIRD Animal Welfare – Bushfire Advice ratings so they can respond quickly and effectively if threatened by a bushfire – particularly if they lose power.”
The DPIRD website also has factsheets to assist animal owners and carers to prepare a Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies, including evacuation options, what to do after the fire and advice on returning home.
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937