Friday, September 29, 2023

Two serious Gingin bushfires deemed accidental

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Two serious bushfires in the Shire of Gingin earlier this year were due to accidental causes, according to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Greg Mair
DFES deputy incident controller Greg Mair talking at a community meeting in Guilderton where Ocean Farms and Seaview Park residents wanted to know when they could return to their homes. Photo: Anita McInnes.

In Gingin on April 28 a bushfire ignited near the intersection of Jones St and Roe St while the Red Gully bushfire started on January 2 near the intersection of Mogumber Rd West and Brand Hwy.

An emergency alert was sent out at 3.56pm for the Gingin bushfire, which was threatening homes on Weld St and burning in an eastward direction towards the town.

By 4.58pm 100 firefighters were fighting the blaze, which burnt 26ha.

At one stage roads were closed including Weld St, Brockman St to Weld St as well as Haron St to Weld St.

Smoke from the bushfire also affected Brand Hwy for about a day.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) metropolitan operations assistant commissioner Jon Broomhall said the Gingin bushfire had been deemed accidental.

Mr Broomhall said the origin of the bushfire appeared to be from a planned burn on private property.

“The fire is thought to have travelled through peat soil underground before appearing above ground in another location almost a kilometre from the original burn site,’’ he said.

The Red Gully bushfire was originally downgraded on January 3 but it jumped containment lines and by 1.58pm the next day DFES had upgraded the alert to watch and act again.

By 4.04pm the same day an emergency alert had been issued for parts of Regans Ford, Red Gully, Cowalla, Moore River National Park, Nilgen, Mimegarra, Karakin, Yathroo, Orange Springs, Lancelin and Ledge Point in the shires of Gingin and Dandaragan.

At 8.59am on January 5 Ocean Farms estate residents were being advised to leave via Indian Ocean Dr in a northerly or southerly direction with DFES saying their lives would be in danger if they stayed.

On January 6 Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said the extreme heat and forecast wind changes were a catastrophic combination.

Mr Klemm said the weather conditions were some of the most challenging firefighting conditions he had seen in many years.

By the time it was downgraded to a watch and act again on January 8 the bushfire had burnt 10,230ha.

Mr Broomhall said the cause of the Red Gully bushfire had been deemed accidental due to a pile of mulch spontaneously combusting.

This article appeared on Yanchep News Online on 30 July 2021.


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