Burn threatens Torbay Hall
Limited time and resources had prevented a fuel reduction burn being undertaken for two years in a section of reserve in Torbay that turned from a controlled burn to out-of-control bushfire last week.
The blaze came within metres of homes and threatened historic Torbay Hall last Thursday.
The bushfire was reported at 2pm after escaping from the southern side of Lower Denmark Road at the intersection of Hunwick South Road, resulting in a watch and act alert for residents in the area in the afternoon.
Up to 15 City of Albany and Shire of Denmark volunteer firefighters brought the blaze, which burnt 100ha, under control Thursday evening, resulting in the warning being downgraded to an advice level.
City of Albany chief bushfire control officer Darren Prior said the section of bushland had been earmarked for two years and he was not surprised the controlled burn escaped.
“Fire is unpredictable and sometimes it does stuff that you don’t want it to do,” he said. “It’s the nature of the beast.” Mr Prior said a mixture of limited resources and the conditions not being right had prevented the bush from being burnt earlier.
He said complaints about prescribed burning and fuel loads came from both sides of the spectrum.
“You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he said.
“We are doing the best we can and we can only keep doing that.
“We are the ones taking the risk to make everyone safe.”
Torbay resident David Read took the measure of watering down the roof of the home across the road from the bushfire.
He said the bushfire was the first he and wife Vicki had experienced in 14 years of living at the home down from the Torbay Hall and were prepared.
Torbay resident David Read surveys the burnt bush less than 50m from his home.