Successful planned burn boosts community's confidence

Published: Thursday, 22 November 2018 at 3:49:41 PM

The Denmark community of Peaceful Bay along with bushfire volunteers from a number of local brigades have had a confidence boost knowing that they can respond swiftly and strategically to a bushfire emergency following a successful Hazard Reduction Burn on Shire reserve last week.

The burn, facilitated by the Shire of Denmark and conducted by volunteers from the Peaceful Bay, Nornalup, Mehniup and East Denmark brigades commenced at 10am and occurred over 5.8 hectares of Shire reserve in Peaceful Bay on the 14th November.

The success of the burn was due to favourable weather conditions and overall moisture content in the soil which lent itself to a ‘cool burn’, where surface fuels are consumed without damage to the upper story vegetation. This reduced surface fuels without compromising larger trees, maintaining some habitat and opportunities for reseeding. The site will be assessed in the coming weeks for treatment of emergent weeds and to determine the percentage of remnant vegetation.

Of the success of the burn, Shire of Denmark’s Bushfire Risk Planning Coordinator Melanie Haymont explained, “The burn provided an invaluable opportunity for the Shire to collaborate with the Peaceful Bay community and bushfire volunteers, and allowed us to show our commitment to supporting their efforts in protecting the community.

Facilitating this burn has increased volunteers’ confidence and knowledge around Hazard Reduction Burning, which in turn builds their capacity to respond strategically and confidently to a bushfire emergency situation,” she said.

Community members and a number of volunteers have already approached the Shire proposing other areas for consideration in the Shire’s Hazard Reduction Burn program.

Over recent months, the Peaceful Bay community have made considerable efforts in bushfire preparedness through the development of several Bushfire Ready groups, driven by key members of the community and supported by the Shire of Denmark and its bushfire volunteer network, DFES and the Peaceful Bay Progress Association. The formation of these groups ensures the community is better connected and prepared for the next bushfire emergency.

Similarly, the Shire of Denmark in collaboration with DFES, local volunteer groups, and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions have held information sessions and Bushfire Ready workshops across Denmark over the past several months. The workshops aimed at providing knowledge on fire ecology, bushfire awareness and strategies for bushfire preparedness to the broader community, as well as supporting local community groups in their own bushfire preparedness initiatives.

The Shire invites the community to provide input into the Bushfire Mitigation Plan currently being developed. The Plan identifies bushfire risks within the shire and aims to attempt to address these risks through treatment programs.

The Shire would like to thank all involved for their support in progressing the burn. The burn was invaluable in affording the community of Peaceful Bay a higher level of protection for the upcoming fire season.

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