Bushfire Ready

Around 97% of our Shire is declared bushfire prone being subject, or likely to be subject, to a bushfire attack.  

It’s important to plan ahead for emergency situations, especially if you live in areas prone to natural disasters. It could save you and your family’s life. The Emergency WA website provides you with simple advice and directs you to resources where you can find practical actions to prepare for and cope during a range of emergencies.

Incorporating your horses in a bushfire plan should be well considered, not only for the welfare of your animals but for the safety of others and the emergency services teams. If you agist your horse on a property, this plan should be made collaboratively with all parties involved.

Are you staying or going?

Deciding whether to evacuate your horse or stay must be planned well before an emergency. It would be best if you had clear, measurable triggers as to when you will implement your plan; an example may be once DFES issue a bushfire warning or possibly when the fire danger rating is at a certain point (Severe, Extreme or Catastrophic). Whether evacuating or staying, you should have an emergency kit ready before the event, including halters and leads, sufficient feed, first aid, medications, lighting and essential tools, including wire cutters. Depending on the nature of the emergency, you may not have access to your property for days.


If you plan to evacuate your horse, evacuate as soon as possible.

You will need to assess the following:

  • Where will you take your horse? – have multiple options
  • Who will be evacuating your horse?
  • What options of routes do you have?
  • How suitable is your transport for the horse?
  • Is your horse float trained?
  • Will you require temporary yards?

The Shire Emergency Services Team implement evacuation centres in an emergency, including locations for livestock and other animals. These evacuation points will depend on the exact location and nature of the emergency. When considering locations for evacuation, having multiple available locations is the best plan, as the emergency may also impact your first choice or the emergency itself may cut off access.

Staying on your property

If it is not possible or practical to evacuate, having a safe place for your horse to remain on your property during an emergency will require planning and preparation prior to an emergency, the area should:

  • Be as large as possible
  • Be free from hazards and flammable materials
  • Have access to water
  • Multiple access points
  • Ensure fence lines are clear of vegetation and have firebreaks to limit damage by fire

Road closures and limited access

Access to your property may be prohibited due to significant threat and road closures. This can last days in some cases. If you have animals on your property and cannot gain access to them, contact Ranger Services at 9526 1111. Ranger Services, DFES and DPIRD may be able to assess the animals, provide water and food or, in some cases, evacuate the animals. Always follow directions from emergency services. Illegally entering exclusion zones puts the emergency services and yourself at risk.

Having a checklist

The Department of Primary Industries and Reginal development (DPIRD) has excellent resources including a Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies(PAWE) checklist available for download here  

Property maintenance

As part of your obligation as a property owner, your property must comply with the Firebreak Notice issued to owners each year.  You should maintain a firebreak around your property that is free from flammable material, vegetation or obstacles and is trafficable for the Emergency Services to access to fight fires and use as an escape.

In an Emergency

  • Follow direction from Emergency services
  • Never cut fences to allow animals to roam free – this endangers the animals, Emergency Services and people evacuating.
  • If you do not have a plan and required equipment to stay in an emergency – leave as soon as possible
  • Do not rely on mains water – if staying and defending have alternate firefighting equipment
  • Do not rely on mains power, ensure means of opening electric gates in an emergency
  • Have all your animals easily identifiable – Brands, markings, tags and microchips

DFES Bushfire Warning System

Stay up to date on fire and other emergencies through www.emergency.wa.gov.au

DFES Fire Danger Rating System

DFES Have implemented a new Fire Danger Rating System. To view full information on the changes, Click Here.

Further Information

Contact the Shire Emergency Services Team on 9526 1111.