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Prescribed burn integral to containment of Sawyers Valley fire

23 February 2018​

Prescribed burning recently carried out in state forest in the Perth Hills region was integral to containing the Sawyers Valley bushfire last month. Without it the fire could have threatened the communities of Mundaring, Pickering Brook and Kalamunda.

The fast-moving bushfire was unpredictable and out of control when it entered the previously burnt areas, halting the fire and drastically changing its behaviour.

Parks and Wildlife Service, Swan Regional Manager Benson Todd said the low fuel area created by the recent prescribed burning helped firefighters contain the bushfire and prevented it from impacting on communities in the Perth Hills. 

"The fire burnt through more than 3800ha of State forest and pine plantation under hot and dry conditions, which were very challenging for firefighters," Mr Todd said. "There was a possible threat to lives and homes if the wind shifted to the south, with a Watch and Act issued for people in or near the Mundaring Weir Village and near Mundaring Weir Road."

Perth Hills District Fire Coordinator Michael Pasotti has arranged field tours at the site to better demonstrate the impact of the prescribed burns and the effect of fuel age on the spread of the fire.

The tours will provide great opportunity to further demonstrate and promote the importance of fuel management in enabling firefighters to consolidate containment lines and contain bushfires.

Parks and Wildlife Service managed the fire with the support from Volunteer Bushfire Brigades, DFES, WAPOL, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Brigades, SES and St John Ambulance involving more than 290 people.


Fire damage to the Ball Creek campsite on the ​Bibbulmun Track. Image courtesy of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.