More than 166,000 hectares of prescribed burning achieved since July 1, 2016
Improved bushfire protection for communities and infrastructure
More than 166,000 hectares of prescribed burning has been achieved by the Department of Parks and Wildlife from Gingin in the north to Denmark on the south coast since July 1 this year - a significant outcome in preparing Western Australia for the coming bushfire season.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said prescribed burning was an essential tool in minimising the threat of bushfires and protecting communities, and Parks and Wildlife was well on its way to reaching the annual target of 200,000 hectares.
"Favourable weather conditions and additional funding provided by the Liberal National Government have enabled the department to significantly progress its prescribed burn program with substantial results," Mr Jacob said.
"Autumn and spring are the ideal seasons for prescribed burning in the south-west and already the department has eclipsed the total area burnt last financial year, in spring alone, with more than 77 burns undertaken.
"In 2015-16, Parks and Wildlife achieved 154,000 hectares, its best result in the preceding five years, so this spring's result of 166,951 hectares to date is an important outcome for communities that are area prone to bushfires."
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Liberal National Government was committed to protecting communities and had provided an additional $20 million over four years under Royalties for Regions to provide Parks and Wildlife with greater capacity and flexibility to undertake prescribed burns.
"The Department of Parks and Wildlife has limited opportunities to undertake prescribed burns because it is highly dependent on weather conditions to ensure safe and effective operations," Mr Redman said.
"The additional funding provided from Royalties for Regions has helped produce the best result in five years for the State's prescribed burning program.
"The other positive for regional communities has been the employment opportunities for local contractors and businesses involved in supporting roles of the prescribed burning program."
Parks and Wildlife's indicative prescribed burning target for its south-west forest regions is 200,000ha per year, with the aim of having 45 per cent of department-managed land in the south-west with a fuel age of less than six years since last burnt
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700