Overgrown block sees owner fined after Brookfield blaze

Property owners living in and around Pimelia Drive in Brookfield had a close shave on Sunday 31 December 2017 after a car with a hot exhaust pipe caused a grass fire on an unslashed vacant lot.

Residents of a neighbouring property dialled 000 at 3.15pm to request emergency response to the incident, with the rapid response by local fire services fortunately containing and isolating the fire to the lot.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Community Emergency Service Manager Chris Lloyd said residents of Brookfield were very lucky that winds were particularly light that afternoon and that fire volunteers were able to attend so quickly.

“This shows how quickly and easily a fire emergency can start,” he said.

This could have gone very pear-shaped, very quickly...It’s frustrating and infuriating that this complacency could have impacted on the adjoining properties.

Chris Lloyd, Shire Community Emergency Service Manager

“This could have gone very pear-shaped, very quickly.

“I commend the actions of the neighbour who dialled 000 without delay.

“They have, without a doubt, avoided a major incident, particularly given a dense, dry reserve is located immediately opposite the ignition point.”

Shire Ranger Coordinator Mick O’Regan said the property had been inspected by a Fire Control Officer prior to this fire and the owner of the vacant lot had been issued with a $250 Infringement Notice under section 33(3) for failing to comply with the 2017-18 Fuel Hazard Reduction and Firebreak Notice.

They were also sent a letter highlighting requirements to take immediate action to remediate the long grass on their lot in order to comply.  

“This incident need not have happened at all,” he said.

“It’s frustrating and infuriating that this complacency could have impacted on the adjoining properties.

“I urge owners of all lots, including vacant lots, to comply with all fire mitigation requirements specific to their location and property type listed in the Notice, if for no other reason than to be respectful towards your neighbours and fellow community members and not put their lives and homes at risk.”

To view the 2017-18 Fuel Hazard Reduction and Firebreak Notice please visit www.amrshire.wa.gov.au