Semi-rural landowners, councils and state government entities could be forced to reduce vegetation on their land under possible changes to Western Australia's bushfire laws.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson is leading a review of WA's emergency services legislation and says people who own fuel load must be held accountable.
Under existing laws, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) cannot make local councils or state government landholders, such as Main Roads and the Water Corporation, reduce vegetation and ignitable material.
Councils can request landowners to reduce fuel loads, although many claim it is difficult to enforce.
But in an overhaul of the legislation, landowners could face spot checks of their fuel load and government entities could also be forced to reduce their levels, The West Australian newspaper reports.
The Atwell-Banjup fire earlier this month was intensified by fuel loads thought to be 20 years old in reserves managed by the City of Cockburn, which does not conduct prescribed burns, the newspaper said.
Mr Gregson said efforts had been made in recent years to improve how firefighters respond to bushfires, and reducing fuel loads was the next step to make sure WA was bushfire ready.
"We try to educate people that if you own the fuel, you own the risk, and the consequences of any fire of course are magnified and are a direct correlation to the fuel," he told Fairfax radio on Monday.
Mr Gregson said he was "mortified" by the risks in some areas.
The state government will determine if DFES or councils will be responsible for reducing vegetation.
Mr Gregson said DFES would release its emergency services legislation review concept paper for public comment next month.