Campers urged to take care

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Sophia Con­stan­tine and Tom Zaun­mayr

Au­thor­i­ties are plead­ing for com­mon sense from Pil­bara res­i­dents as they pre­pare to pack up the four­bies and hit the open road for the start of what is set to be one of the best camp­ing sea­sons in more than a decade af­ter the bumper wet sea­son.

Rangers at na­tional parks are gear­ing up for an in­flux of vis­i­tors over Easter, drawn in by the prom­ise of im­pres­sive wa­ter­falls, green growth and swim­ming holes af­ter heavy sum­mer rains.

Kar­i­jini Na­tional Park is ex­pected to be par­tic­u­larly busy be­cause of the week-long Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence co­in­cid­ing with school hol­i­days and Easter.

Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife Kar­i­jini ranger Dan Petersen said vis­i­tors needed to re­alise how re­mote the area was and take safety se­ri­ously.

“Peo­ple need to know their lim­i­ta­tions and read and com­ply with all sig­nage,” he said.

“We have a large num­ber of dirt roads that peo­ple aren’t aware of.”

Mr Petersen said Fern Pool had reopened af­ter a lengthy clo­sure be­cause of fire which dam­aged the wooden deck and pas­sage through to the pool.

Kar­ratha State Emer­gency Ser­vice deputy res­cue of­fi­cer Rob Gra­ham said ideally SES mem­bers would not have to put their train­ing into prac­tise this week­end.

“One of the big­gest mes­sages to get out is don’t drive tired or fa­tigued,” he said.

“We travel long dis­tances in the Pil­bara so take that time to have a break.

“Stop, take a drink, have a walk around the car and carry on. It beats push­ing your­self that lit­tle bit fur­ther and not mak­ing it.”

Mr Gra­ham urged the pub­lic to “take a break so we don’t have to break your car”, point­ing out that res­cues of­ten in­volved emer­gency ser­vice crews hav­ing to de­stroy ve­hi­cles be­yond re­pair in or­der to

free peo­ple from crashes. South Hed­land Se­nior Sergeant Dean Snashall said trav­ellers on the North West Coastal and Great North­ern high­ways could ex­pect a vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence over the Easter long week­end.

“There will be a lot of traf­fic po­lice on the road over the Easter and school hol­i­day pe­riod with a fo­cus on the high­ways,” he said.

“Kar­i­jini will be pump­ing this time of year be­cause of all the rain we have had, so that will be a pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion.”

Po­lice were happy with Pil­bara driv­ers over Easter last year. Fewer than 200 in­fringe­ments — mostly for speed­ing — were made among more than 5200 driv­ers mon­i­tored across the en­tire re­gion.

There were no fa­tal­i­ties, se­ri­ous crashes or in­juries.

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