Smoke alert remains following bushfire in Bunbury

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Drone shot showing proximity of the bushfire to the South West Sports Centre at the start of the emergency.
Camera IconDrone shot showing proximity of the bushfire to the South West Sports Centre at the start of the emergency. Credit: Dean Lomax / Lomax Media

A smoke alert remains in place for areas in Withers as firefighters continue to monitor a bushfire which came close to South West Sports Centre on Sunday night.

It comes as Bunbury Volunteer Bushfire Brigade took to social media yesterday to vent its frustration over “rubber neckers” who came close to the blaze.

Fire crews are still working to mop up bushland between the centre and Bussell Highway after the area was engulfed with flames.

It took firefighters more than eight hours to control the blaze after it was reported about 7.20pm.

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Career and volunteer firefighters and 21 appliances battled flames into the night.

The cause is not yet known, but it is understood it is being treated as suspicious.

In a Facebook post yesterday, the Bunbury volunteer group said firefighters were “astounded” by people who came dangerously close to the fire.

“Whilst this may have been quite spectacular to watch, we are very concerned and frustrated with the enormous amount of spectators (aka rubber neckers as we call them) that felt the need to come down to watch what was happening,” the post said.

“Surely it is common sense to stay well away from these types of emergencies, not only for your (the public’s) own safety, but also ours (firefighters).”

The group called on parents to know where their children were and to stay away from fires in the future.

The smoke alert remains in place for people in or near Bussell Highway, Rotary and Washington avenues, Parade Road and surrounding areas in Bunbury.

There are still spot fires in the area, according to Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area, reduce speed and drive carefully due to smoke.

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