We know it’s not all clear yet – there are still volunteers and career firefighters working on the fire ground in Bunbury, but we thought we would just give a bit of extra insight into the resources that turned out over the weekend to bring the Bunbury bush fire under control.

Everyone agrees that in a State like Western Australia, without the 26,000 or so incredible volunteers we are lucky to have in our Volunteer Bush Fire Service, the State would be in all sorts of trouble almost always.

But many people don’t know one of our biggest strengths is the sheer number of small brigades where it would never ever be feasible to have paid personnel. The 580 Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades we currently have might seem like an “inefficiency” to an office-bound calculator jockey, but the fact of the matter is any move to “consolidate”, “rationalise” or in any other way bureaucratise our amazing network will compromise our current ability to provide quick response to most areas of the State, often extinguishing small fires that would otherwise become big, deadly ones.

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Of course this is hard to measure because we will never know what would have happened to the thousands of small fires and other natural hazards that are made safe by local brigades every year, but the bottom line is operationally, what we have works well – local capacity, knowledge and expertise makes small communities safer and resilient.

And that’s an important point. Our amazing volunteers don’t just show up when the flames are burning and cameras rolling. The very fact that they live where they volunteer means small communities get the benefit of their knowledge and skills all year round – in preparing for the worst, and critically, cleaning up and promoting local morale after a tragedy.

So here’s to the amazing crews from the Bunbury City Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade and the local VFRS and CFRS personnel who also turned out over the weekend. They did a bloody good job of containing that fire in dangerous windy conditions.

But let’s also acknowledge the 17 23 (we have received an update) other Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades from our amazing network who came together to do what was needed to support their colleagues and protect their neighbours.

It’s a shame the mainstream media doesn’t have the space to acknowledge every Brigade, but when we can, we do!

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Here’s the list of Brigades we are aware of who formed the awesome team that saved Bunbury over the weekend and a Facebook post from the Dardanup Central Brigade with some amazing photos of the beast they faced:

  • Bunbury City VBFB
  • Waterloo VBFB
  • Dardanup Central VBFB
  • Dardanup West VBFB
  • Burekup VBFB
  • Ferguson VBFB
  • Stirling VBFB
  • Elgin VBFB
  • Boyanup VBFB
  • Leschenault VBFB
  • Harvey Hills VBFB
  • Uduc VBFB
  • Capel VBFB
  • Wellington Mills VBFB
  • Uduc VBFB
  • Gelorup VBFB
  • Yarloop VBFB
  • Joshua/Crooked Brook VBFB
  • Allanson VBFB
  • Harris River VBFB
  • Worsley VBFB
  • Collieburn Cardiff VBFB
  • Williams Rd VBFB
  • Collie Preston VBFB

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