A couple of weeks after our visit to Esperance, disaster struck. Lightning strikes and high winds sparked a blaze between Scadden and Salmon Gums about 100km north of Esperance.
One local died while trying to warn his neighbours to evacuate, and three farm workers died while fleeing the blaze. Farms and crops were completely burnt out. Over 300,000 hectares were completely burnt out, obliterating a harvest that, for some, was set to be the best ever.