Do you know what to do if there is a bushfire in your area? Staying safe means being prepared.
Although bushfire season may be slightly delayed this year due to heavier rainfall than usual during the winter and spring months, the bushfire risk as we head into summer is even higher. The increase of rainfall that we've experienced in Western Australia causes more vegetation and undergrowth to flourish, which will then dry out during the warmer months and result in a higher than average fuel load that can cause longer and more intense bushfire risk.
Read our tips below to make sure you're taking the right precautions to keep your family and home protected.
Tips for bushfire preparation
Your home might be at increased risk if:
- You live in or near bush.
- You live in a local area that has a history of bushfires.
- You have trees or shrubs within 20 metres of your house.
- You live on a slope or hill.
Summer and autumn
In the Perth metropolitan area and the southern half of WA, the bushfire season typically starts in November and runs through to April. The most susceptible areas for fire in Perth are the Perth Hills and forested area along the Darling Scarp, where strong easterly winds early in the day can fan fires.
Winter and spring
In the north of WA, different conditions mean a different fire risk period. The Kimberley fire season usually occurs in the hot, dry winter and spring months when grasses have dried, from June to the end of October. In the Pilbara, the greatest risk is between August and November. In the Mid West and Gascoyne, it’s between September and December.
- Create a 20-metre building protection zone around your home and other buildings by clearing the area of rubbish, long dry grass, bark and other materials that may catch fire.
- Create a mineral earth firebreak along the boundary of your property that meets local government requirements.
- Create and maintain a minimum two metre gap between trees and your home. Prune lower branches to prevent a ground fire spreading into the canopy of the trees.
- Keep grass short, and prune shrubs and trees.
- Store petrol, kerosene and firewood or other flammable material away from your home in a cleared area.
- To prevent sparks getting into your home, close in the eaves and other gaps that lead into the roof or under the floors.
- Maintain gutters and keep the roof clear of leaves.
- Ensure hoses reach all corners of your house.
For more information download our fact sheet.
Following the fires at Kelmscott and Roleystone in 2011, which destroyed 72 homes and damaged another 37, it was found more than one in six people living in the area did not have enough insurance to replace their property.3
Review your building and contents insurance regularly to make sure you have the right level of cover to suit your needs.
- Fire cover (natural and accidental).
- Flood, earthquake and storm cover.
- New-for-old cover on home contents, regardless of age.
- Cover for furniture, carpets, household goods, appliances and gardening tools.
- Cover for clothing, jewellery and precious items.
- Cover for tools of trade.
- Cover for fences.
Use our home and contents insurance calculators to estimate the value of your home and its contents.
For more information contact DFES on +61 8 9395 9300 or visit dfes.wa.gov.au