For those who aren’t aware, nearly 100 firefighters including volunteers from neighbouring Bush Fire Brigades spent much of yesterday at a dangerous fire in Gelorup just south of Bunbury and will undoubtedly be onsite dampening down for days to come. Two Volunteer Bush Fire Fighters were lucky to survive with relatively minor injuries (both OK now) during the incident which was escalated to an EMERGENCY warning calling on nearby residents to either evacuate or actively defend their properties.

While a total fire ban wasn’t in force, it is disappointing to learn that the fire was caused by someone using an angle grinder. We don’t want to create any anger toward the individual who made the terrible mistake, but we believe it is critically important to use this example to highlight the need for everyone to think very, very hard before using power tools – especially those that generate sparks – during periods of high heat and strong winds.

Everyone makes mistakes and thankfully WA has around 26,000 incredible women and men like Mrs and Mr McDougall who are willing and able to donate their time and expertise to be part of the life-saving network of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades and leave their families and homes (in the path of the fire) to go and protect those of others.

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A huge “Grrrrr” to the person who chose to use the angle grinder in these conditions, congratulations to Jeff McDougall, his wife and the tens of thousands of other Bush Fire Volunteers who gave their time and skills to save lives and properties yesterday and thank you to GWN7 for taking the time to talk to one of the very ordinary, extraordinary volunteer bush fire fighters we are all lucky to have watching our backs.

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