Spate of fires sparks call for preparedness

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
The aftermath of the Allanson fire.
Camera IconThe aftermath of the Allanson fire. Credit: Stuart McGuckin / South Western Times

Several out-of-control bushfires across the South West have reignited calls for property owners to be prepared.

Firefighters were hospitalised and properties, including a 50-year-old vineyard, damaged as an out-of-control blaze threatened lives and homes in Allanson, near Collie, on Sunday.

Six firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion with temperatures tipping 40.5C shortly after 1pm.

The firefighters have since been given the all clear.

The blaze burnt through 160ha of land before firefighters fully contained the fire by about 10.40pm. No homes were damaged.

In what has been a busy week for emergency service workers, it followed a bushfire in Paradise near Dardanup on Saturday and a blaze that burnt through 20ha of pine plantation and bushland in Wellesley on Thursday.

The causes of all three fires are yet to be determined.

Despite a ramped-up fire preparedness campaign from Department of Fire and Emergency Services, South West Supt Peter Norman said residents were still being complacent.

“There is a lot of complacency in the community, everyone still seems to think it’s not going to happen to them,” Supt Norman said.

“Until we have like yesterday (Sunday), it just takes up and people don’t understand – unless you’re actually confronted with it – the speed fire moves at and how quickly you can be under threat.”

He said it was crucial property owners had a plan in place, an emergency kit available and to decide early whether to stay and defend or leave.

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