The skies in South Western WA this autumn have carried large volumes of smoke from prescribed burning in forests along the Darling Range. While there have been some complaints from urban areas about the amount of smoke, the Bushfire Front applauds the efforts of the Parks and Wildlife Service in carrying out these burns. They will greatly assist in addressing the large backlog of burns due to past restrictive policies.
These burns are absolutely necessary to protect rural people, towns and industries from disastrous bushfires. They are also a crucial part of forest management to mitigate wildfire damage to forest growth, water catchments and wildlife. Low intensity prescribed burns are also a critical factor in nutrient recycling in forest ecosystems, an essential process in maintaining forest health.
For a discussion on burn impacts on wildlife see About Fire>Impacts of Bushfires.
While people with asthma or other breathing problems have had some difficulties during smoke events, they received adequate and timely warnings from authorities and have had various measures they could take to alleviate any problems. For a discussion of the health issues surrounding bush smoke see About Fire>Smoke.