Volunteer and career fire fighters were kept last this week with a number of fires around the state including a challenging fire in the Avon Valley near Bell’s Rapids.
Crews from Bush Fire Brigades, Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services, Parks and Wildlife and Volunteer and Career Fire and Rescue Service, supported by aerial fire fighting resources and earthmoving machinery, worked cohesively to resolve this incident.
The “Salvos” as usual did an excellent job in keeping the troops fed, and State Emergency Services provided various support services. A multi-agency IMT managed the incident.
The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades’ CEO Tony Papafilis visited the IMT for the fire at Copley Road / Bell’s Rapids on Tues and was taken around some of the fire ground by the John Mangini, City of Swan’s Deputy Chief Bush Fire Control Officer and the Association’s Committee Member representing the North Metropolitan Zone. We thank the IMT for authorising the visit to the fire ground.
Driving around the fire ground demonstrated the challenging terrain that fire fighters had to overcome, which they did.
The blackened grounds show the frightening scenario that faced some home owners as the fire was literally on their door step.
During our tour of the grounds, we came across several crews and enjoyed a brief catch up with volunteers from the Wanneroo VBFB and career fire fighters from the Butler station.
At the IMT site, we also met crews from Kalamunda VBFB and South Coogee VBFB providing an opportunity to meet more volunteers and talk about the fire and their experience.
The feedback from all of these fire fighters was that the fire was well managed and the crews were well looked after.
The fire started late on Sunday,8th January and was still keeping fire fighters busy four days later.
Crews were progressing well with suppression efforts with the initial fire fight but strong gusty easterlies early next morning caused the fire to break containment lines and presented a very real threat to nearby residents and homes.
At the time of this visit there were some 60 volunteer and career fire fighters still on the grounds with more than 200 turning out at the peak of the fire.