Bremer Bay was on watch as a bushfire tore through more than 8000ha near the south coastal town at the weekend, with more than 100 firefighters battling the blaze which was sparked by lightning. Mia and Ava Benson watch the fire front from the beach.
A lightning strike is believed to have sparked a massive bushfire which tore through more than 8000ha near Bremer Bay at the weekend.
At its peak on Saturday, more than 100 firefighters and water bombers were battling the blaze west of Bremer Bay which started on Friday.
The town of Bremer Bay and much of the coast west of the townsite, including popular camping areas, were under a Watch and Act for several days as the blaze was fanned by strong winds.
For 48 hours tourists were told to defer travel plans to the beachside town as the Borden-Bremer Bay Road, one of the town’s two main entry roads, was closed because of the proximity of the blaze.
The town’s population can swell during Christmas from 300 to more than 2000. Residents and holidaymakers were on alert on Monday with the fire still posing a threat to lives and homes, with hundreds of visitors expected to the town.
The threat eased at midday on Christmas Eve with favourable conditions allowing visitors access to the town.
Wellstead Museum and Cafe manager Sarah Hall said a lot of people were exhausted from fight- ing the blaze and supporting crews, but the town’s residents were remaining positive.
“Everyone is doing their bit, that is the good thing about small communities — it’s that everyone pulls together,” she said.
“It is a busy time of year with a lot of people still out harvesting . . . and at this time of year it really explodes with people.
“It has been a pretty full-on week, but it is what it is.”
Businesses in town have been providing food and accommodation for crews battling the blaze.
The fire started near the intersection of the Borden-Bremer Bay Road and Warramurrup Road.
The fire was burning on the western side of Dillon Bay Road.
The Department for Child Protection and Family Support set up a temporary evacuation centre at the Jerramungup Recreation Centre.