Yallingup tops high-risk list

NATALIE BROWNBusselton Dunsborough Times

More than 1500 Yallingup properties have been targeted by a fire prevention program after being identified as the most “high risk” in the Busselton shire.

Busselton Shire Council’s ranger and fire services department issued letters warning 1800 property owners on the Yallingup ridge and Cape Naturaliste of the risk to their area.

The letter, addressed by the department manager Tim Wall, urged residents to take preventative measures after inspections last fire season showed not enough preparation was being done.

“Inspecting officers observed a build-up of leaf litter and general plant debris across many properties that would contribute to a high bushfire hazard,” he said.

FESA fire management officer Andy Thompson said many of the properties singled out were rural properties.

Mr Thompson said their location on higher land than other areas of the shire meant property owners could not “afford to be lax” ahead of the upcoming fire season.

“Because of the high fuel loadings and the typography, and the dense bush that’s up there, you will get a higher fire risk than in township,” he said.

Fire prevention issues faced in the Busselton shire were highlighted by Councillor David Reid at the last Capes Regional Organisation of Councils meeting.

Cr Reid said many residents were “conservation minded” during the burning-off season and regarded fire as an enemy.

“Personally I think we’ve got a challenge here to educate them towards fire reduction,” he said.

However, Mr Thompson said while the council was “trying” to assist residents there was “only so much” that could be said to property owners before the onus was on them.

He said many owners, motivated by large-scale fires in Roleystone near Perth, were now taking more of an interest in fire-prevention methods.

A workshop including a winter burning demonstration will be held Yallingup property on Sunday.

An expo ahead of the fire season will also be held in Dunsborough on October 22.

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