Burns prohibited as winds pick up
5 June 2019
Residents are not allowed to light any fires in the open from 7am today (Wednesday, June 5) and need to put out any smouldering burns immediately, with strong northerly winds forecast for the Great Southern tomorrow.
With already dry conditions, the forecast is eerily similar to the devastating bushfires in May last year and has prompted the City of Albany and neighbouring shires to take precautions by invoking section 46 of the Bushfires Act.
Last year the unusually dry conditions and strong winds combined to create an unprecedented fire emergency in the region with out-of-control private burns stretching resources and putting property and lives at risk.
This Thursday there will be strong north-easterly winds 25 to 40km/h becoming northerly 25 to 35 km/h in the evening, and the City is calling on the community to prevent another disaster from occurring.
Permits will be required to light a fire in the open from 7am Wednesday until midnight on Friday, June 7. This means the burning of garden refuse, pasture, piles of rubbish or bush, the use of fire pits or campfires, and the use of cooking fires or wood and coal-fuelled barbecues is prohibited.
“If you don’t get the required permissions to burn in that time and you light up, you could be putting yourself, your neighbours and your community at risk and penalties will apply,” Manager Ranger and Emergency Services Tony Ward said.
“If you have any smouldering burns or fires that have been active within the last fortnight, they need to be checked and fully extinguished now.
“Looking at the current wind heading our way and the experiences of last year, we have to make sure we safeguard ourselves and look out for each other.”
Other shires that currently have invoked section 46 of the Bushfires Act are Jerramungup and Denmark. Residents are urged to check with their local governments for local arrangements.