Wind turns burn pile into blaze
A bushfire in Forest Grove last Friday afternoon was a nearrepeat of a previous incident, with volunteer firefighters called to an out-of-control burn on private property.
Witchcliffe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade was first on the scene, supported by crews including Cowaramup, Gracetown, Karridale, Kudardup, and Rosa Brook, as well as paid firefighting personnel. The incident was a timely reminder for property owners to comply with bushfire regulations, according to Shire of Augusta-Margaret River chief bushfire control officer David Holland.
With the restricted bushfire season now in effect, any burnoffs were forbidden, he said.
The blaze started near the intersection of Caves and Sebbes roads in Forest Grove at about 1pm on Friday.
“The landowner — who had only recently purchased the property — had been undertaking fuel reduction work to remove excessive vegetation close to the building,” Mr Holland said.
“He had created a burn pile and had been monitoring it for several days and had thought it was extinguished.
“However, it appears that the windy conditions on Friday picked up an ember from the pile and carried it to nearby bush, which subsequently caught fire.” Volunteers fought the blaze, bringing it under control about 2am on Saturday.
Mr Holland said during the non-restricted season, burn piles must be watched closely.
“Even though they may look extinguished, (they) can continue to smoulder undetected for several weeks and potentially re-ignite,” he said.
For more information on burning off, visit amrshire.wa. gov.au.
Volunteers worked into the early hours of the morning last Saturday to control an escaped private burn in Forest Grove.