DENMARK’S volunteer fire brigades were tested recently, when eight separate fires burned out of control across the shire. Almost all fires were escaped burns. Dry and gusty northerly winds on June 6 mirrored conditions a year ago, when numerous fires swept across the Great Southern. In light of the weather forecast for that week the shire and all volunteer brigades were on high alert.
On June 4, with burning off restrictions only recently lifted, the shire enforced Section 46 of the Bushfire Act, which prohibits the lighting of open-air fires and requires existing burns to be extinguished. The fires were the first significant incident for new Chief Bushfire Control Officer Lez Baines, whose job was aided by the shire’s newly refurbished incident control room running smoothly.
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,’ Cr Gearon said.
Early warning system
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. The Shire’s SMS alert service now has 130 subscribers. To register for the alerts service go to the shire website or call 9848 0300. The SMS service notifications do not override or replace official DFES emergency warning system alerts.