Burn permits required as restrictions in effect

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Shire volunteer firefighters planning a prescribed burn last month.
Camera IconShire volunteer firefighters planning a prescribed burn last month. Credit: Sean Blocksidge

Residents are on notice to seek permits to burn immediately, with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River bringing the restricted burning period forward earlier than planned.

From today, permits to burn are needed for anyone burning more than a cubic metre of garden waste.

Ordinary garden piles can be burnt after 6pm provided they are extinguished before 11pm, with warning all burn piles must be carefully monitored.

In recent years, numerous blazes have escaped from neglected burn piles — especially those started by absentee landlords seeking to maintain their holiday homes.

Chief bushfire control officer David Holland said the decision was made because of drier-than-usual conditions for the time of the year.

It also follows a stark warning from Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan that this summer would be a high-risk bushfire season.

“While we had some rain over the weekend, it wasn’t enough to significantly change our soil dryness levels, which are above average for this time of year,” Mr Holland said.

“The soil dryness index is currently sitting at 590, compared with the average of 400 recorded this same period historically.”

“The range of measurement for our Shire starts at zero during winter and rises to an average maximum of 1650 during February.

“This makes it prudent for us to bring the restricted burning period forward.”

Residents were urged to contact the Shire for any clarification and consult the Firebreak Notice recently delivered to households, which is also available online.

Visit amrshire.wa.gov.au for more information.

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