In the Papers this Week November 21st 2011

Homes, Lives At Risk As Inferno Near Margaret River Rages

Local Margaret River authorities said on Wednesday that at least 35 houses might have been destroyed by the raging inferno near Margaret River. Around 200 people were camped at the Prevelly beach after being forced to evacuate their houses. Another 50 were housed at a make-shift evacuation centre in Margaret River. Deputy Fire Chief of the Augusta-Margaret River Shire, David Holland, said the fire had been contained but not entirely controlled.

Compensation Announced For Fire Victims

WA Premier Colin Barnett has announced an instant $3000 compensation by the state government for those who have lost their properties in the Margaret River fires. Those whose homes were damaged will receive $1000. Around 39 properties were destroyed by the bushfires in Redgate, Prevelly and Gnarabup this week. The compensation is meant to provide some short-term relief to those who have been left homeless.

‘Gutted’ Firefighters’ Efforts Applauded

Department of Environment & Conservation incident controller Roger Armstrong applauded the efforts of “gutted” firefighters though they were unable to save the 37 properties lost this week due to the Margaret River bushfire. “They did, I am absolutely confident, their level best. It wasn’t easy for them to go from house to house, sometimes in breathing apparatus, and then not being able to succeed in saving them. What they did do was save 370 in Gnarabup. If you see them, give them a pat on the back.” Armstrong further said the firefighters would still need to work hard over the next 2-3 days in the next cycle of climate conditions.

Margaret River Fires Keeping Winemakers Out

Some of WA’s most renowned winemakers that were evacuated during the devastating Margaret River fires are still unable to have access to their establishments. Some of the vineyards in the region that have been evacuated include the award winning Leeuwin Estate, Cape Mentelle, Xanadu Wines, Redgate Wines and Voyager Estate. A controlled burn-off ran out of control on Wednesday in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, and destroyed 28 homes and nine holiday chalets.

Fire Advice For School Leavers

As many as 350 Year 12 school leavers who were planning to celebrate in Margaret River this weekend are being advised to alter their plans because of the devastating bushfires. Police have urged both locals and tourists to have alternative plans ready as fires continue to affect many parts of the region. Those visiting Dunsborough or Busselton don’t have to change their travel plans.

Margaret River Rejoices As Climate Turns

Residents of Margaret River were relieved after an inferno which destroyed 39 homes and holiday cottages backed off. However, with the recovery efforts getting underway, people are wondering how a prescribed burn-off by the Department of Environment & Conservation (DEC) ran out of control. WA Minister of Environment Bill Marmion on Friday said he is “happy to apologise for what went wrong” but added that prescribed burning was naturally risky and not an exact science.

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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