SHIRE of Mundaring will limit public access to Lake Leschenaultia during extreme and catastrophic fire danger rating days this summer in the interests of community safety.
Following the first year of the new national fire danger rating system a review has been conducted and adjustments have been made to the shire’s rating system.
Based on these changes, the shire has also conducted a review of when it will open and close the lake on certain fire danger rating days.
Effective immediately, the new arrangements will see the shire close the lake to the public, but open to campers on days where the rating is extreme and close the lake to both the public and campers on days where the rating is catastrophic.
Shire President Paige McNeil said the safety of the entire community is the shire’s first priority, especially during periods of high bushfire threat.
“Lake Leschenaultia is our jewel in the crown for residents and visitors and we want everyone to enjoy the very best the Lake has to offer in a safe environment,” she said.
The presence of a large number of people in a bushfire prone site with limited access has the potential to be devastating in the event of an out-of-control bushfire.
An emergency evacuation of a large number of people from the park would require support from emergency services, diverting these resources from other areas, potentially hampering response capabilities and placing other people, emergency service responders and property at risk.
The shire also acknowledges that the change in fire danger rating system in September 2022 meant the lake was closing on extreme days which caused concern for many residents and visitors.
“We were concerned that the rating didn’t reflect the weather conditions we were experiencing so the shire made a submission to the Australian fire danger rating system after the first summer season,” Cr McNeil said.
Visitors to the lake are encouraged to check the fire danger rating the night before they visit if they are planning to arrive at the lake the next morning, or in the afternoon if they plan to visit the lake in the evening.
The ratings are updated daily at about 4.30am and 4.30pm, with Mundaring falling under the Swan inland north district.