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LATEST NEWS

Find out what's happening and how you can help Fire & Biodiversity WA  protect our southwest biodiversity hotspot.

Recordings of the presentations can be seen at https://vimeo.com/channels/fireandairforum

Recordings of the 2021 Fire and Biodiversity conference can be seen at https://vimeo.com/channels/fabforum

​A ‘Fire Campaign’ page with references, resources and media links is available on the WAFA Website: at https://wafa.org.au/better-fire-management/

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has released its “Burn Options Program” for the 2023-24 Fire Season. FaBWA presents a summary of the planned burns and continues to analyse them in greater detail.

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Icons to Ashes is a landmark report that highlights the catastrophic impact of current prescribed burning on Tingle and Ficifolia trees (red-flowering gums), peatlands and mainland Quokkas.

The report presents findings from a series of ecological field trips by local conservationists and scientists to the Walpole Wilderness Area.

It calls for an urgent re-think of burning practices, highlighting that regular burning is not only having massive impacts on forests and wildlife, but has also been scientifically shown to be increasing the risk of wildfire.

 

Current prescribed burning is literally turning the iconic Tingle trees and Ficifolias into ashes.

How much is too much?

Thanks must go to the ABC for their 8 minute segment "The controversial preventative burning regime – is it appropriate?" by Rhiannon Shine on prime time TV, 14 June 2023. 

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DBCA's 'best practice' footage in the 7.30 Report segment shows a trickling cool burn. We know that this is not how most of DBCA's burns are carried out. And we know what the results of their burning campaign are.

 

Please share your concerns with the minister who oversees the department - the Hon. Minister Reece Whitby MLA:

bit.ly/Burning-Issue

Fire & Air Forum 2023

The Fire & Air Forum 2023 was co-ordinated and convened by Dr Carole Peters on May 5 at the University of Western Australia. It was hosted by WA Forest Alliance and the Royal Society of Western Australia.

 

The forum was generously sponsored by many environment groups and individuals from across southwest WA. FaBWA was also a sponsor.

 

Indigenous elders, scientists, farmers and other speakers detailed many of the problems associated with current prescribed burning practices in Western Australia.

A message from the Fire & Air Forum Convenor, Dr Carole Peters, can be found on WA Forest Alliance's website here.

If you have any enquiries, please contact Carole Peters at:   fabforum21@gmail.com

Recordings of the presentations can be seen at https://vimeo.com/channels/fireandairforum

Recordings of the 2021 Fire and Biodiversity conference can be seen at https://vimeo.com/channels/fabforum

A ‘Fire Campaign’ page with references, resources and media links is now available on the WAFA Website: at https://wafa.org.au/better-fire-management/

> Remember also the VIMEO link to the Fire & Biodiversity Forum 2021 presentations:
>
> https://vimeo.com/channels/fabforum

 

Email the Minister

Take action and join us in calling for an expert, independent review on WA’s prescribed burning practices. Every year, DBCA burns over 200,000 ha of forests and other ecosystems in the South West of WA.

The program is intended to reduce the risk of wildfire but in reality, it is having profoundly negative impacts on ecosystems, wildlife, climate and people’s health.

Scientific evidence is also mounting that too-frequent, intense fire is exacerbating wildfire risk by increasing the density of the understory and making some ecosystems more flammable.

As climate change continues to make it more difficult to manage fire, it is critical that we have a comprehensive understanding of current practices and develop a more sophisticated, up-to-date and best-practice management system.

Every voice counts! Please send an email to Minister Whitby today: bit.ly/Burning-Issue

 

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The report on impacts to fauna from the Weinup prescribed burn was released in 2022. It was funded by Humane Society International and conducted by Dr Phil Runham who had this to say about his findings:

 

"This was a very small study conducted over an extremely short period by dedicated volunteers and generously supported by HSI Aust. The limitations associated with financial and temporal constraints are acknowledged. However, the results speak for themselves and we stand by the conclusions we drew from them.

 

During the writing of the discussion, it became apparent that while prescribed burns are decimating our flora and fauna, there is also an incredible amount of damage being inflicted on invertebrates, fungi, microorganisms and the organic materials that support these groups. These burns are disrupting the ecological function that our natural ecosystems (and us, our agriculture, our way of life) depend on. How long this disruption persists is, as far as we can currently ascertain, unknown.

You can download the report here.

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We need your help to save the Tingles

FRK_058 block in the heart of the Tingle forest in the Walpole Wilderness is off the burn list for now. But what about next season? 

 

FaBWA wants a moratorium on prescribed burning of this threatened species. We need funds to publish a major report on the impacts of prescribed burning on the Tingles, and prepare for a review if the State Government calls one in response to our parliamentary petition. (The Minister has indicated this is likely).

Fire & Biodiversity WA has been run almost entirely on volunteer time and community donations for more than 2 years. To effectively lobby the Environment Minister we need to fund our campaign - which includes social media, pre and post prescribed burn monitoring of flora and fauna, gaining specialist support, running community work-shops and hosting field trips.

Your donation, no matter how small, will make a huge difference in our capacity to campaign for change.

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BURNING QUESTIONS

 

 

The southwest of Western Australia is an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot.


Scientists are warning it is at risk from the current prescribed burning program of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).


Fire and Biodiversity Western Australia (FaBWA) has asked the WA government to review DBCA's prescribed burning program in the southwest of WA on the premise that it is unsustainable and represents a significant threat to biodiversity.  

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WHY FaBWA?

 

 

FaBWA evolved from the Denmark Fire Study Group which was formed in 2019 after a very hot prescribed burn that decimated a biodiverse area north of Denmark in the southwest of WA.

 

FaBWA is committed to the protection and preservation of our unique ecosystems. We have petitioned parliament for a review into prescribed burning practices in the southwest of WA.

 

The southwest of Western Australia is an internationally recognised Biodiversity Hotspot - one of two Global Biodiversity Hotspots in Australia. It is home to a rich variety of unique flora and fauna.

This region has the highest concentration of rare and endangered species in Australia, many of which are endemic and facing an exceptional loss of habitat.

 

There are many threats to this precious landscape. It is under severe pressure from logging, mining, fire - both wildfire and planned fire - and increased population. We are focused on the impact that current prescribed burning is having on this conservation estate.

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IMPACTS OF PRESCRIBED BURNING ON FAUNA

It's been 2 years since DBCA's 'prescribed' burn wiped out 50-65 numbats in the Perup-Weinup forest block DON_100 in WA's south west. This was a known numbat habitat. Bill Smart, who lives adjacent to the block, estimated that as well as the numbats, 5000 habitat trees were incinerated. 

 

When Bob Brown (ex-Greens senator) visited the site he was appalled and commented: ‘this appears to be a managed fire that looks like a wildfire, that was started to stop a wildfire that would look just like this’. (Bill Smart, FaBWA Facebook group 17 May 21)

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PETITION TO LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

On the 15th September 2021, our petition calling for an independent review of prescribed burning in the southwest of WA was tabled by the Honourable Sally Talbot MLC and Honourable Jackie Jarvis MLC. 

On the 19th August 2022, 3 FaBWA representatives attended a ministerial hearing to answer questions about our request for a review. We are waiting for the government's decision.  

PRESCRIBED BURNS IN YOUR AREA

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions has released their Burn Options Program for 2022/2023.  

 

If you live in the southwest, have a look at the program and note if a patch of your favourite bush is scheduled for prescribed burning.

 

Head out with your camera, GPS and take photos. We are setting up a database of photo monitoring points so that post burn assessments can be made. 

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CAN YOU HELP?

FaBWA relies on volunteers and community donations. If you are able to volunteer your time, please contact us.

To access specialist support, we need funds. If you are able to donate - please click here.

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