Jerramungup and Bremer Bay communities count themselves lucky

By Bree Swift
February 16 2022 - 10:00pm
Firefighters have been busy responding to fires across regional WA in recent weeks. Photo by DFES Incident Photographer Evan Collis

MEMBERS of the Jerramungup and Bremer Bay communities are counting themselves lucky due to the small amount of damage that occurred from fires in the region over the weekend, given their close proximity to both town sites.

The Jerramungup fire was reported at 2.52pm, while the Bremer Bay fire was reported at 3.22pm last Friday, both as a result of lightning strikes in the area.



Shire of Jerramungup manager of development Noel Myers said while the majority of the Jerramungup fire was very close to the settlement of the town, fortunately it seemed to follow the road reserves out of town rather than damaging acres of farmland and fencing.

From a building perspective, he said the Shire was aware of just one building that suffered damage in Jerramungup, which happened to be owned by the Shire itself and was only 12 months old.

"It's not totally destroyed, but it's certainly suffered fire, smoke and water damage," Mr Myers said.

The Jerramungup sports precinct also had some peripheral damage while the local golf club lost its equipment shed, but the fire was stopped just a few metres short of the building itself.

While there was extensive damage to Western Powers' reticulated overhead power network, Mr Myers said power had been restored back to the town within about 12 hours and despite the Water Corporations water treatment plant, located on the periphery of town, also suffering some damage, water had also been restored.

The majority of land burnt in Bremer Bay was an area of vacant Crown land that was heavily vegetated and hadn't been put to any productive use for many years.

However Mr Myers said as that fire came closer to the Bremer Bay townsite, there were certainly a number of properties that would have been affected.

He attributed the successful handling of the fires to the efforts of the local fire brigades and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) personnel.

"From a personal level, it was the first time I've ever been able to view an incident room in action, and the work that was done by the local brigades in their response was absolutely amazing to watch," Mr Myers said.

"They held the fort until it was handed over to DFES and witnessing the collaboration between all of them - the teamwork, co-ordination and professionalism they exhibited was absolutely exemplary."

As of Monday, Shire of Jerramungup president Joanne Iffla said the amazing response by DFES and the local bushfire brigade in Bremer Bay meant that only an uninhabited beach shack had been destroyed at Dillon Bay and that the fire had burnt through mostly coastal scrubland.

"We were very well supported, with the Albany brigade also bringing their heavy duty machines out to the fire on Saturday," Ms Iffla said.

"Now it's containment and mop up time, so the Shire will help out with any resources needed by the local brigade and the fire commissioner has called me offering his support as well."

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