Volunteer fire brigades praised for bushfire response

Published: Monday, 10 June 2019 at 8:42:10 AM

Denmark volunteer fire brigades were tested last Thursday as eight separate fires burned out of control across the shire.

The dry and gusty northerly winds on Thursday 6th June mirrored conditions from twelve months ago when numerous fires swept across the Great Southern.

Based on last years’ experience, the Shire and all volunteer brigades were on high alert in light of the forecast.

On Tuesday 4th June the Shire of Denmark with Chief Bushfire Control Officer Lez Baines enforced Section 46 of the Bushfire Act which prohibited the lighting of open-air fires and required any existing burns to be extinguished.

This was the first significant incident for Mr Baines as Chief Bushfire Control Officer. Reports internally and from the fire-ground indicated Mr Baines was outstanding in his newly elected role.

Shire President Ceinwen Gearon thanked the volunteers for their efforts.

“We are very lucky to have an immensely dedicated group of individuals willing to volunteer their time to keep us all safe,” she said.

Overall, the response was a tremendous success. The Shire’s newly refurbished Incident Control Room ran smoothly. Shire staff and fire crews will hone various systems in preparation for the next event.

130 people registered for the Shire’s SMS alert service in response to the fires.

Almost all the fires were escaped burns. Residents are urged to be vigilant and look closely at the forecast not only for the day they plan to burn but also the days following.

Register for the Shire SMS alerts service via the Shire of Denmark’s website or call 9848 0300. The Shire SMS service notifications do not override or replace official DFES emergency warning system SMS alerts.

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