Bushfire clampdown

COCKBURN council has almost tripled the number of infringements to land owners and conducted four controlled burns as it tries to downgrade a fire risk that remains stubbornly “extreme”.

A recent report to the council found that its first foray into controlled burns had successfully reduced the fuel load by 85 per cent, although they had been delayed because of weather conditions.

Mulching and weed spraying were used where the burning wasn’t safe or possible.

“The city is currently trialling a new concept of rural inspections by a bushfire risk assessment officer, as opposed to a member of the rangers’ team,” the report said, finding it had improved compliance and landowners’ understanding of fire risks.

The officer issued 230 infringements between November and January.

“On the forthcoming budget an additional bushfire inspector and mitigation officer will be included, to further mitigate this risk,” the report said.

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