‘Street meet’ for local residents regarding recent Bushfire

As a community service and follow up to a serious bushfire at Mt Tarcoola recently,City of Greater Geraldton volunteer bushfire fighters and Bushfire Ready coordinators will hold a short ‘Street Meet’ at the Mt Tarcoola Tennis Club for residents of the area.

Coordinator Alison Lloyd said the informal street meet - to be held on Saturday February 2 at 10am - would reinforce to residents how to prepare for a bushfire if they live in the urban area near bushland.

Resources supplied by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services such as the ‘Are you at risk’ brochure will be supplied and discussed.

“The key message will be for residents to consider a bushfire survival plan with additional take-home messages about turning off evaporative air conditioners during a bushfire, and to report vandals, car thieves and bush-bashers as potential arsonists if spotted in bushland near their homes,” she said.

While many people enjoyed the celebrations on the Geraldton Foreshore on Australia Day, the City of Greater Geraldton’s proactive approach to managing bushfire risk enabled local fire fighters to save houses and lives threatened by the fire at Mt Tarcoola.

The fire started in bushland east of Mt Tarcoola near the Mt Tarcoola Tennis Courts on January 26 and was initially controlled by the Geraldton Fire and Rescue Service (FRS). The blaze spread into thick wattle bushland and assistance was called for from the City of Greater Geraldton bushfire brigades, City staff and heavy machinery.

City Manager of Community Law and Safety, Konrad Seidl, said the fire was burning close to houses and posed a significant risk with a temperature of 38 degrees and strong, dry, easterly winds fanning the fire towards homes.

“A mulching strip created by City fire officers and maintained mid-2012 proved its worth in providing access and a buffer to the houses from ember attack,” he said.

“There is no doubt our comprehensive approach to managing bushfire risk enabled fire fighters to effectively protect houses and lives in this situation; and it drove home the importance of assisting the community in being bushfire ready.

“I strongly urge residents to attend the meeting on Saturday,” said Mr Seidl.