DFES plan upsets volunteers

THE fire department created “angst and mistrust” among this state’s 26,000 volunteer firefighters with its controversial plans to overhaul emergency service laws. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) last year released a concept paper calling for changes, including more powers for the department. The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades’ (AVBFB) response shows…

Bid to tackle ‘sleeper’ embers

WA firefighters are using advanced weather reading technology to identify smouldering embers from lightning strikes that can flare into dangerous bushfires days later. As weary firefighting crews battled dangerous blaze burning near homes in Waroona and Manjimup yesterday, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services revealed it was using new tactics to find so-called “sleepers”.…

US tragedy forges bonds for fireys

It was one of the worst bushfire tragedies in US history with the deaths of 19 members of the legendary Granite Mountain Hotshots. But from that 2013 tragedy in the hills of Arizona has emerged an unlikely bond, which will be affirmed this year when members of the Preston Road Bushfire Brigade near Collie travel…

Homes damaged in Waroona bushfire

At least one property has been destroyed and two others damaged by an out-of-control bushfire burning in Waroona, 110km south of Perth. Department of Fire and Emergency Services is not able to confirm the damage reports but is planning to carry out an aerial assessment this morning. A bushfire emergency warning remains in place and…

Aussie spirit on show

ABOUT 100 firefighters and aerial support crews spent Australia Day fighting a fire that burned through bush in Nowergup and Pinjar. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) received a report of the fire about 2.20pm on January 26, which had burnt through more than 1500ha within 48 hours. Up to 120 volunteer and…

Arson fears for huge southern fire

Firefighters fear an arsonist started a bushfire which closed the Kwinana Freeway at peak hour yesterday and continues to threaten homes in Perth’s southern suburb. The fire started about 4pm yesterday in bushland east of Baldivis Road and south of Millar Road in Wellard. Residents in parts of Wellard and Baldivis were told to evacuate…

Firefighter Francis cops flak

Arh politics – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. For the record, the Association is very pleased to have a Minister who is an active member of a Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade. Although, from this article in today’s West, it’s clear not everyone shares our view. ============== Joe Francis’ role as a…

Firies’ leave hosed down

Volunteer WA firefighters forced to take holiday time or sacrifice pay to battle bushfires While many bosses allow bushfire volunteers to have paid time off, others aren’t as generous. BOSSES are forcing some volunteer firefighters to take ann­ual leave or sacrifice pay when they are called to a blaze. More than 26,000 volunteer firefighters in…

Power poles back in spotlight

Wheatbelt farmers claim faulty insulator sparked bushfire that destroyed five hectares WESTERN Power is embroiled in another pole top fire controversy amid claims a faulty insulator sparked a blaze in the state’s Wheatbelt region last weekend. The fire, which broke out just before 8am on Saturday, destroyed about five hectares at the historic Berskshire Valley…

Firefighters asked to ‘step up’

Firefighters from the Great Southern could be required to assist in suppressing devastating fires across the State more often after a strike team from Albany and Denmark was deployed to help fight the Bullsbrook bushfire this month. Nine volunteer firefighters from South Coast Volunteer Bushfire Brigade, Albany Volunteer Fire and Rescue and the Shire of…