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DFES Incident Photography
When the going gets tough, volunteer firefighters from the Perth Hills raise their hands in an effort to help others. Photo: DFES Incident Photographer Evan Collis

On the ground to help fellow firefighters

By Claire Ottaviano

THE call for reinforcements to bolster firefighting efforts around the State last week was felt strongly by eastern and hills volunteers.

More than 30 volunteers across Mundaring and Swan bush fire brigades were deployed to level-three category bushfires at Shackleton and Bridgetown.

The drive to help out fellow firefighters is always a no brainer for Glen Forrest Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade captain Tom Belger who returned this week from a short stint helping to strengthen containment lines near Bridgetown.

“Thinking back on the Wooroloo bushfire a year ago, to be given a reprieve, even for a couple of days gives the rotation of crews time to catch our breaths before we need to go out again,” he said.

“When things are escalating and help is needed – well, we know exactly what that’s like.”

Four bushfire emergencies in Bridgetown, Denmark, Shackleton and Narrogin were downgraded on Monday, but not before they razed at least six homes and injured one man.

“The DFES commissioner said he thought this was the first time the State had battled four level-three bushfire events at once,” Mr Belger said.

“It’s certainly something I never seen.

“A level-three fire is very resource hungry, not just on firefighters but also for incident control.

“It’s important not to forget the other volunteers we rely so heavily on, such as the State Emergency Services who drove us down there after the second shift change and Salvation Army who do a lot of catering and welfare for firefighters.”

Members from Darlington, Glen Forrest, Stoneville, West Swan, East Swan, Swan Communications, West Gidgegannup, East Gidgegannup and Bullsbrook volunteer fire and emergency service brigades attended at Bridgetown and Shackleton.



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