Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Former Minister for State Development; Transport; Innovation

Hon Rob Johnson JP MLA

Hon Rob Johnson JP MLA

Former Minister for Police; Road Safety

    Strategic burn to mitigate Nullarbor bushfires

    14/09/2011 12:00 AM
    • DEC, FESA and locals collaborate on strategic burn
    • 660,000 hectares of Nullarbor grassland targeted
    • Prescribed burn to protect key assets

    Fire authorities and local pastoralists are collaborating on a large-scale prescribed burn on the Nullarbor to ensure key infrastructure assets are protected from bushfire.


    The burn, along the transcontinental railway line across the Nullarbor, covers an area of more than 660,000 hectares.


    Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the burn aimed to minimise the size and intensity of bushfires and the risk of damage to pastoral leases and assets such as the railway.


    “Over the past few weeks there has been a strong collaborative effort between agencies and land owners in preparing and effecting a prescribed burning program,” Mr Marmion said.


    “The grass fire hazard on the Nullarbor is the highest it has been since the mid-1970s. Parts of the target area received more than 600mm of rain this year, which is two-and-a-half times the annual average.


    “We only have a narrow window of opportunity for this operation between now and the end of September when grasses will be too dry to burn safely.”


    Emergency Services Minister Rob Johnson said the burn included 250km of ‘edging’ along the railway between Kybo Station and the WA-South Australian border.


    “The grass growth is prolific and the potential for widespread fires which could impact on the railway, the highway, communication infrastructure as well as pastoralists is very high.


    “The collaboration among all agencies has been excellent and I congratulate the personnel involved in preparing the burn plans within a short timeframe.”

          Fact File

    • Prescribed burn being undertaken by Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA), local government and pastoralists
    • Police, Main Roads and rail and communications authorities also involved
    • Pastoralists concerned about potential loss of feed, stock and station infrastructure with such high grass growth
    • Works will link up with further fire mitigation work being undertaken by the DEC’s South Coast region along the Eyre Highway

    Environment Minster’s office - 9220 5000

    Emergency Services Minister’s office - 9222 9111