Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Kimberley firefighters and local community praised for combating fires

    26/10/1995 12:00 AM



    Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese today commended the efforts of firefighters and the local community in containing a major outbreak of fires throughout the Kimberley region.


    Mr Wiese said up to 20 fires had caused extensive damage to more than 10 million hectares of pastoral and bushland areas over the past four weeks.


    "It has taken a massive concerted effort by volunteer firefighters, State Emergency Services, Police, pastoralists and local government to contain these fires," he said.


    "These people have put their own safety on the line to save property and possessions in some of the most remote and inhospitable country in the State.


    "Volunteers and local contractors took leave of their jobs and their families to fight these fires and I commend their tireless dedication to help others."


    Mr Wiese said police were investigating the suspicious outbreak of many of these fires which were located between Broome, Fitzroy and Sandfire.


    "It is sickening to believe someone could derive some sort of perverse pleasure from this type of action and I can only hope that a public response will help police capture the culprit quickly," he said.


    Mr Wiese said anyone found guilty of arson faced penalties under the Bushfires Act of up to $250,000 and/or 14 years in prison.


    The Minister said with the onset of the cyclone season in the north of the State the fire danger was passing, but he warned local landholders to maintain their vigilance and take suitable precautions to prevent further outbreaks.


    "All sections of the community need to remember that Under the Bush Fires Act there is an onus on landowners to take all measures to extinguish fires that start on their land and to sound the alarm of the potential threat to neighbours and firefighting authorities," he said.


    "A person who knowingly neglects these responsibilities faces penalties under the Act."


    Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595