City prepared for 2019/20 summer fire season

21JANUARY2020
With fire at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the City of Cockburn wants to assure residents and ratepayers that preparations for the 2019/20 fire season are thorough, best practice and ongoing.

The City completed extensive bushfire risk mitigation work across Cockburn’s 23 suburbs in 2018-19 in readiness for the current summer period, investing $630,000 in this important annual program.

In 2019-20, the City invested $280,000, including $110,000 from State Government Emergency Services Levy grants and $170,000 of its own funds, in fire mitigation efforts.

In 2020-21, the City has a $210,000 fire mitigation budget with $70,000 already spent, and the remainder available for work starting this autumn once the weather cools.

The 2019/20 veldt grass control budget was $111,500 and the total contract weed control budget for all reserves is $241,698.

Rangers and Community Safety Manager Michael Emery said firebreaks in bushland areas managed by the City were maintained and generally exceeded standards required by the City’s Fire Control Order.

2019 bushfire mitigation works included:
  • Pruning, removing, mulching trees/vegetation encroaching firebreaks at Denis De Young, Mather and Kraemer reserves in Banjup, around Banjup Community Centre, Baler Reserve in Hammond Park, Lake Coogee, Market Garden Swamp, Little Rush Lake, Yangebup Lake and Banksia Eucalypt Woodland
  • Limestone firebreaks were installed at Baler and Kraemer reserves
  • Locked gates and fences were added to deter illegal access and reduce the risk of arson and rubbish dumping in northern Success
  • Firebreaks in our conservation reserves were inspected to ensure fire truck access standards.  
“In 2019, more than 4km of new limestone firebreaks were installed in our reserves, more than 8km of shrubs overhanging firebreaks were cleared, seven new fire access gates were erected and all existing gates were audited to ensure they can be opened, and keys provided to fire fighters,” Mr Emery said.
 
Mr Emery said 25ha of hazard reductions burns on state, City and private property were completed.
 
Firebreak inspections of private property began in November 2019 and are ongoing.

What the City will do this summer: 
  • Continue to inspect private properties for firebreak compliance
  • Plan autumn burning and mitigation works
  • Respond to illegal burns
  • Work with police to help identify possible arsonists
  • Deploy staff and equipment to areas of need in Perth and regional areas and interstate. Four volunteers from the Jandakot and South Coogee bush fire brigades recently returned from interstate fire support.
For more information, visit the City’s website opens in a new window



 
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