Burn SMART – Planned Burning

Published on Thursday, 3 August 2023 at 2:00:00 PM

If you own or manage land in Western Australia it is your responsibility to reduce the risk of bushfire impacting it. This applies to all landholders and land occupiers, including private homes, businesses and government.

One of the most effective ways you can reduce fuel loads and the risk of bushfire is planned burning. Planned burning describes deliberately burning a predetermined area under appropriate environmental conditions to reduce fuel loads (the vegetation and dead plant material that can burn in a fire). Planned burns are undertaken under mild and stable weather conditions so that the fire burns slowly and is controllable with low flame heights.

It is important to note however that you are responsible for any fire you light and, if it escapes, you may be liable for the damage it causes.

Reducing fuel increases the chances of your property surviving a bushfire. The more fuel available to a bushfire, the hotter the fire can burn and the harder it is to control. Flammable material such as leaf litter, fallen branches, dead grasses and shrubs provide fuel for fire, allowing it to grow more quickly and burn at higher temperatures. This increases the likelihood of damage to your property, neighbouring properties and the environment. In comparison, reduced fuel levels assist not only in reducing how quickly a fire can spread, but it also reduces its spotting distance (how far the fire can jump).

Planned burning is a particularly efficient way to remove fuel over larger areas. When used appropriately, it generally results in less environmental disturbance than other methods. Many native plants and animals can also benefit from periodic fire.

The following information is designed to help you Burn SMART:

  • Plan smart. Burn SMART.
  • Planned burning can reduce the amount of flammable material on your property, potentially reducing the impact and spread of bushfire.
  • In the wrong conditions, a planned burn can escape and become an uncontrollable fire. If you plan to burn, plan to Burn SMART.
  • YOU are responsible for any burns on your property and must take care to recognise and manage risks.
  • Create a burn plan using the Burn SMART Guide and Burn SMART Checklist.
  • Watch the Burn SMART Planned Burning How-To Video Series to revisit the key stages of a planned burn and what you must do in order to Burn SMART.
  • Register your burn by calling the DFES Communications Centre on 08 9395 9209.
  • Burning under the wrong conditions can put lives and homes at risk. Property owners are responsible for recognising and managing all risks associated with their burn.
  • Rules and restrictions can vary from day to day. Always check with your local government for burning restrictions and requirements prior to burning.

For more information on planned burning visit The DFES website

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