A host of top environmental academics, community members and traditional owners have spoken passionately about alternative methods for prescribed burning in WA. It comes after the recent destruction of a reserve in Perup, near Manjimup, that was home to a number of endangered numbats, outraging the public and environmental groups. The forum, which took place over two days from June 4, featured speeches by former WA Scientist of the Year Dr Kingsley Dixon, pictured, Kelvin Gold medallist professor Don Bradshaw and former response action fire team member Philip Zylstra. The event was attended by about 300 people and was organised and coordinated by Dr Carole Peters. Dr Peters said the current methods were actually increasing the severity of wildfires in WA. “The peer reviewed science is telling us that logging and repeated short cycles of burning make wildfires worse,” she said. “Forests create stable environments if allowed to mature; it is in fact disturbance that creates the increase level of wildfire risk.” Dr Peters said the weekend and the support the event got was “overwhelming” and the calibre of the speakers was “outstanding”. One organisation present at the forum was the WA Forest Alliance which works extensively to protect native flora and fauna in the South West. WAFA convenor Jess Beckerling said she was particularly moved by the speeches made by Indigenous representatives who discussed a move back to a more traditional method of burning. “We were excited by the opportunity to hear from eminent Aboriginal fire practitioners,” she said. “Traditional burning practices over 65,000 years or more are based on complex understandings of the particular site.” A petition has been started by the WA Fire and Biodiversity organisation appealing to the Legislative Council of the State Parliament for an independent review of the DBCA and how it carries out prescribed burns. The event was also attended by Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie.