In the past five months more than 600 bushfires have been reported in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions - almost half of which are suspected arson.
Now, frustrated northern WA pastoralists are urging the State government to assist by proactively targeting and investigating those responsible.
Among those is Yougawalla Pastoral Company general manager Haydn Sale, who has been tirelessly fighting fires for the past month - and he's not alone.
According to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and as of October 19, 486 fires had burned more than 3.5 million hectares of the Kimberley since the bushfire season started in June.
Of those 223, or 45 per cent, were believed to be suspicious.
Similarly in the Pilbara, 145 fires were reported to have damaged 138,000ha, of which 55 or 37pc, were believed to have been deliberately lit.
A total of 32 volunteer firefighting brigades, across both regions, have been working hard to keep their communities safe.
They have been supported by pastoralists, local indigenous rangers and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Speaking to Farm Weekly last Friday, Mr Sale said arson had been a 'massive issue' in northern WA for some time.
However, this year posed a greater risk with a higher fuel load, following a favourable wet season and record flooding in January.
"These areas are burning and posing a real danger, yet there have been no consequences for those who started the fires," Mr Sale.
"I'm not blaming law enforcement, they have limited resources and are already overrun, but something needs to be done.
"You've got 18 and 19-year-olds working at stock camps that are all of a sudden firefighters, trying to pull up blazes and working all night backburning.
"We are worried that sooner or later there will be a loss of life."
Mr Sale said while DFES crews had been deployed to assist with fires, it was an overwhelming task made difficult with several burning at once.
He said pastoralists had to ensure staff were safe, which was difficult while battling and monitoring blazes on the ground.
"We have a few 40 degrees (days) coming up, and the ramifications of wildfires in these conditions could be catastrophic and incredibly dangerous.
"There was a fire which covered 50km in one day once the wind got behind it.
"That becomes a real danger to those trying to fight it, we have been pulling people out of that situation in the day so they can try and fight it by backburning at night."
Mr Sale said affected pastoralists were having issues feeding and moving cattle, so they didn't perish.
He said the fires had taken up "mountains of time" with staff, crew and machinery, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It has impacted our ability to get through work," Mr Sale said.
"We need to get our cattle mustered in time and we are already on a pretty tight schedule this year because of the late season's late start, after the Fitzroy Crossing bridge was destroyed."
He said pastoralists had met with WA Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis and suggested addressing the problem with a two-pronged attack.
Firstly, he said an arson squad should be deployed to the region seasonally, from July to February to investigate fires and reduce incidents of arson.
"Policing effort and consequences are needed to deal with people who light fires with malicious intent," he said.
"There needs to be some resources put towards investigating those fires and if it is going to be during fire season it may as well be the arson squad, which has some skills in that area.
"Being present and investigating people, even if they don't get an immediate conviction, will potentially make a difference as to whether or not people light another one.
"At the moment, unless there are consequences, they are going to keep at it."
Mr Sale said a program was being looked into to educate people ahead of bushfire season.
He said some fires may have been accidentally lit.
"We think an education program would show people what not to do at this time of year and encourage them to be careful,'' Mr Sale said.
"We want to show people what the consequences are of lighting fires at this time of year."
Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen's Association (KPCA) chief executive officer Bron Christensen said the number of deliberately lit fires was "very concerning".
She was aware of some instances where cattle station owners had been fighting fires for four to six weeks.
"The issue has certainly exacerbated over the past month and stretched resources as well as costing significant time and money," Ms Christensen said.
"We are most worried about the potential threat to human safety as the fires burn out of control just because of the time of year.
"This is a very serious issue for us."
The KPCA organised a meeting with concerned pastoralists and Ms Jarvis during her recent visit to Broome for the KPCA annual conference.
Ms Christensen said options were discussed and how they could proceed.
"At this stage, we are collating information about the amount of hectares and land that has been affected and the resulting stock losses, native wildlife and biodiversity losses and the financial costs of these deliberate fires," she said.
"This information will then be presented to minister Jarvis to proactively progress strategies to address the current situation."
A DFES spokesperson said the proportion of deliberately lit fires this year in the Kimberley and Pilbara was lower compared to the same period in recent years.
"If you are out in the community lighting fires you are recklessly putting people's lives in danger," the spokesperson said.
"You need to think about the consequences."
"Bushfires can kill people and burn communities to the ground.
"The public can help put an arsonist behind bars by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if they see any suspicious behaviour."
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