The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is playing it safe, bringing forward the prohibited burning period which is now in effect. The season started 10 days early when declared on Monday, and follows a Statewide total fire ban in the lead-up to last Wednesday’s awful conditions in which the Calgardup blaze was believed deliberately lit. Shire chief bushfire control officer David Holland said the decision was made because of continued dry fuel loads, weather conditions, and fatigued firefighters. “We are all aware we’ve had a very busy week and the Calgardup Fire has consumed a lot of local resources,” he said. “At this point we are focused on ensuring that any possible chance of future emergencies is minimised. Our firefighting teams are still working on mop up and our attention is still very much on making the burn area safe.” All burn-offs, campfires and outdoor fires were banned, while barbecues and pizza ovens were only permitted if the fire danger rating scale was below “very high”. The prohibited period runs until March 14 next year. For more information, visit the Shire’s website www.amrshire.wa.gov.au.