Fire alert

Bush­fire sea­son brings warn­ing

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - Jack­son Lavell-Lee

Emer­gency ser­vices have banded to­gether to con­demn il­le­gal fires in the wake of three il­le­gal camp fires in the re­gion, one at Meelup Beach, one at Kil­car­nup and one at Bo­ranup.

Vis­i­tors to the re­gion were ad­vised to act re­spon­si­bly amid a stronger po­lice pres­ence and an in­creased ef­fort to en­sure safety this hol­i­day pe­riod.

Thou­sands of peo­ple have trav­elled to the re­gion, with tourism op­er­a­tors re­port­ing a strong start to the sum­mer sea­son.

The first in­ci­dent was re­ported to the Bus­sel­ton City Coun­cil on De­cem­ber 27 and the oth­ers on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Last week, hik­ers at Meelup Re­gional Park in­formed the Bus­sel­ton City Coun­cil that vis­i­tors stay­ing on a boat had lit an il­le­gal fire in the park.

Those re­spon­si­ble for light­ing the camp fire had then walked off with­out prop­erly ex­tin­guish­ing the flames.

In 2011, loose em­bers re­sulted in a bush­fire near Prev­elly which de­stroyed 30 homes.

Duns­bor­ough Fire and Res­cue Lieu­tenant Phil McCor­mack ap­pealed to peo­ple to obey all fire re­stric­tions.

“No open fires, be sen­si­ble and don’t leave any­thing unat­tended. When in doubt, just don’t do it,” he said.

Vol­un­teer fire­fighter Naomi Dekker said to re­mind your camp­mates it is bush­fire sea­son and to plan an es­cape route.

“This is one of the most beau­ti­ful ar­eas in the world but it does come with risks. We have a lot of bush and a lot of dry veg­e­ta­tion,” she said.

Bus­sel­ton po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Jerry Samoa asks any­one who wit­nesses sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour to call triple-0.

“It’s all about mak­ing the right choices, the safe choices,” he said.

“The pe­riod usu­ally in­volves a lot of al­co­hol. Mostly, peo­ple have been sen­si­ble, but al­co­hol and left­over fire em­bers are not a good mix.”

Pic­ture: Jack­son Lavell-Lee

Emer­gency ser­vices came to­gether last week to present a uni­fied front and re­mind the pub­lic to obey all fire re­stric­tions.

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