Shire firefighting brigades are at the ready with the early declaration of the restricted burning called forward at the weekend. The restricted period was brought forward from its planned November 9 date due to severe weather conditions, including strong winds, and partly prompted by a scary fire near wineries in Yallingup last week. Shire community emergency services manager Adam Jasper said the recent annual appliance servicing program meant all 17 brigade vehicles were ready to go at a moment’s notice. “We have undertaken a bushfire-risk assessment and we’re progressing with a series of prescribed burns to protect high-risk areas around the shire,” he said. “We’re also working closely with other State Government departments including the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to ensure the most efficient and effective ways to protect our community.” As the Times reported this month, an El Nino weather pattern north of Australia had authorities on high alert for any major blazes. There were also serious concerns weather conditions, influenced by climate change, could bring a major event to the Capes region. Mr Jasper said residents could do their bit to protect their own properties by clearing firebreaks and vegetation around homes. “Our fire trucks and other vehicles may need access to properties, so please ensure your firebreaks are cleared in case of emergencies,” he said. Shire brigades had already undertaken some mitigation burns, as had Parks and Wildlife crews. The Shire alerted residents to the possibility of further burn-offs as well as mechanical work. Crews would also target Molloy Island, East Augusta and Alexandra Bridge to improve access and movement around those high-risk areas.