The West

A senior Department of Environment and Conservation worker has told a parliamentary inquiry of the "reluctance" and "apprehension" to do any more prescribed burning in the wake of the death last month of firefighter Wendy Bearfoot.

It comes as the unions representing professional firefighters and DEC staff involved in fire management painted a bleak picture of WA's preparedness for the approaching fire season, detailing problems with new radio communications, staff shortages and "questionable" equipment.

Ms Bearfoot died fighting a blaze near Albany on October 12.

Giving evidence before the inquiry, nature conservation co-ordinator John Carter said Ms Bearfoot's death had taken a toll on the community.

"From a morale point of view, people are very concerned and wary about being involved in the (burn) program," he said.

The West Australian

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