DFES ready for harsh bushfire threat this summer with the South West set for more dangerous conditions

Claudette RizziSouth Western Times
DFES South West community preparedness adviser Haley Hibbitt and Superintendent Andrew Wright.
Camera IconDFES South West community preparedness adviser Haley Hibbitt and Superintendent Andrew Wright. Credit: Claudette Rizzi/South Western Times

The bushfire season has started early in the South West, with signs indicating it will be longer and more severe than recent years.

There have been 206 bushfires across the region since October 1, which is double the number at the same time last year.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services is urging the community to make a bushfire safety plan and be ready to act.

DFES South West community preparedness adviser Haley Hibbitt said having a bushfire plan and being informed was key to keeping lives and property safe this summer.

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“Our biggest concern this year are the conditions we are facing, fires that take hold now will be much more dangerous, will move more quickly and be much hotter, giving people less time to put their plans into place,” she said.

Ms Hibbit said indecision was the biggest killer in bushfire situations, with residents encouraged to leave early in the event of fire danger if they are unsure whether to leave or stay and defend their property.

South West Superintendent Andrew Wright said DFES prepared extensively for the bushfire period all year, with some of the equipment for this year’s season including 30 rotary and fixed-wing suppression and aerial intelligence aircraft, 100 additional firefighting appliances and two Black Hawk helicopters that have come from New South Wales.

The Department recommends residents stay aware of conditions in their area, keep updated on alerts through Emergency WA, prepare their properties and pack an emergency kit.

Those needing to create a bushfire plan can do so through the My Bushfire Plan app or by visiting mybushfireplan.wa.gov.au.

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