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High fuel load safety first from WA Kimberley as tourists urged to be bushfire alert

May 02, 2012
High fuel load safety first from WA Kimberley as tourists urged to be bushfire alert

As Australians and overseas visitors begin their annual migration to the north west of Australia the Fire & Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA) reminds people to travel safely.

The Kimberley is one of the world's greatest wilderness areas but it is also prone to bushfires during the regions dry season which runs from May to October.

Acting Regional Director Grant Pipe said people were welcome to explore and immerse themselves in the breathtaking landscape, but should always be prepared for potential hazards.

Fire is a natural part of the Kimberley ecosystem, and we have very high fuel loads in the Kimberley because of heavy rainfall during the wet season, he said.

Safety is a concern for people travelling in remote parts of the region as firefighters may not be close by to provide immediate assistance.

We do our best to mitigate the risk of destructive bushfires through prescribed burning, but we need travellers to be aware of the threat and know what to do if they encounter a bushfire. Grant Pipe said people should be aware of their surroundings and have a map and survival kit.

While travelling be alert and watch for signs of a bushfire especially smoke and flames, he said. If you see smoke and flames you should leave the area immediately by driving away from the fire. Do not wait and see.

You should also travel with a survival kit containing essential items such as a portable radio, spare batteries, a first aid kit, woollen blankets and drinking water.

The Kimberley is a beautiful place to holiday and we want tourists to remember it for all the right reasons, so be prepared and stay informed.

FESA offers the following top five tips to travellers:
1.Travel with a map and be aware of your surroundings
2.If you see smoke and flames, drive away from the fire as soon as possible
3.Travel with a survival kit containing essential items such as a portable radio, spare batteries, a first aid kit, woollen blankets, drinking water and protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
4.Keep up to date with emergency information and current Fire Danger Ratings by visiting the FESA website at
www.fesa.wa.gov.au or by calling the FESA information line 1300 657 209
5.Tune into the local ABC radio frequency. In a major emergency ABC broadcasts are issued regularl

Fire front threatens road travellers
Fire front threatens road travellers
Chopper over bushfire courtesy Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia
Chopper over bushfire courtesy Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia
Kimberley on fire  Courtesy  Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia
Kimberley on fire Courtesy Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia
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