Damaging South West blaze contained, still unsafe

Tari JeffersManjimup Bridgetown Times
VideoVolunteer firefighter Richard Moroney took the vision while tackling the blaze inside the fire ground in Southampton.

The bushfire that has raged in the Southampton area of the Lower South West since Tuesday afternoon has been contained.

About 3300ha of land has been burnt and five sheds and a sea container have been destroyed.

Incident controller Mark Bowen said while the fire had been contained and the area downgraded from an Emergency to a Watch and Act, it was still unsafe in the area.

“There’s still a lot of burning embers and logs, those sort of things, within the fire ground,” he said.

“The crews have done a fantastic job overnight, they’ve brought a fire - that was running in multiple directions with the different winds that occurred yesterday afternoon – under control.”

Fire got close enough to scorch some patios and fencing of homes in the area.

Thursday’s weather helped the approximate 250 firefighters from throughout the South West and beyond contain the blaze.

The overcast skies and light drizzle “helped tremendously”, according to Mr Bowen.

“The firefighters – the volunteers, the careers, the staff – out there from all the services have done a tremendous job,” Mr Bowen said.

He added that while there were firebreaks and tracks the firefighting crews had been using, the steep terrain had caused some difficulty.

Mr Bowen also congratulated homeowners in the area for having up-to-date bushfire plans.

No one was forced to evacuate their homes, but based on bushfire plans, some people decided to leave, while most decided to stay and defend.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm visited the region on Wednesday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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