This is the website of the Yallingup Rural Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, headquartered 6.2k south of the Yallingup Post Office on Caves Road. The brigade covers an area of around 106 sq. kilometres. Its neighbours include the Yallingup Coastal, Dunsborough and Wilyabrup brigades. If you are interested in volunteering as a fire fighter please go to the New Members section of this website. If you are not keen on fighting fires but want to help, we are looking for auxiliary volunteers. For more information click on New Auxiliaries. Without volunteers there is no brigade. The brigade is a not-for-profit organisation and any contributions would be much appreciated. The brigade is authorized to accept donations which are tax deductible. Our Charity ABN is 82930679221. If interested, please go to the Contact Us page.
Use the links on the right to access the DFES or DPaW websites .
Call the DFES Information Line at: 13DFES (13 3337)
Listen to ABC Local Radio at 684 AM at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.
This website will NOT be updated during a fire although it will carry bushfire alerts from DFES in the box on the right. However these could be delayed up to 15 minutes. Click here for the very latest DFES South West alerts..
The fire season refuses to end with the brigade experiencing its busiest week to date. The action included two hazard reduction burns, four local fires and providing assistance in Albany.
Last Saturday the brigade along with Dunsborough , Vasse and Sussex brigades carried a controlled burn for the CoB. Later that afternoon the brigade was called out to fire on Summer Brace. Dunsborough and Willyabrup brigades provided assistance.
During the week, as the weather got dryer, attention was focussed on various burns reigniting and mopping up.
On Thursday a strong N/ NW wind kicked in and on cue, the fires started. The 4.4 was called to assist in a fire in Metricup early arvo with Andy, Alan, Bevan and Mitch. They provided assistance to the local brigade in mopping up.
Just before three pm a call went out on a fire at Wildwood and Butterly roads. Matt and Mike B were first on the scene in the LT. Bob, Kev and Todd followed on in the Dunsborough truck and Emma joined the 4.4 crew.
All neighbouring brigades got involved in the next fire that broke out a little later in Sainsbury Loop.
All three fires were extinguished and the rains came to end an exhausting day. However, there was not much time to rest as the 4.4 headed south Friday to assist with the Albany fire. Andy, Bevan, Bob, and Mike M were the crew. Friday night the truck was in Marbelup with the fire having burnt over 1,500 hectares. They headed home Saturday afternoon.
Captain Matt praised the “fantastic effort” by the brigade members this week and thanked the other brigades for their assistance. “It is also tremendous that our brigade can back up and assist the City of Albany when in need of help”, he said.
The brigade spent another busy weekend fighting fires on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday afternoon crews were sent to the Chapman Hill fire and spent the rest of the day in acton. Sunday morning they were back at Marrinup, scene of last weekend’s fire.
Around 3pm Saturday Emma and Todd went off in the Light Tanker and Andy, Bob, Chris, David , Kevin, Mark P, Mike and Mitch were in the trucks. They joined brigades from throughout the region and Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters in attacking a fire at Chapman Hill which was first reported around midday. They spent a lot of time knocking out fires in the tree tops and blacking out in very smoky conditions. Recent training came in handy with a lot of truck reversing in the dark They didn’t get back to the shed until 10:45 that evening. By Sunday morning the fire was contained and under control with over 20 hectares burnt.
Sunday morning the brigade joined Dunsborough in putting out a fire at the same location as last week’s Marrinup/Commanage fire. Emma and John were in the Light Tanker and Anne, Bevan, David, Mark, Matty and Michael in the trucks with Kevin and Pete joining the trucks at the fire. FCO Fish was in charge. On arrival the brigade was confronted with a number of grass trees alight and fire up to 3m in other trees. Along with fighting the fire, the brigades had to deal with 75k winds and driving rain. The thermal camera was put to good use tracking hot spots while blacking out. Fortunately the fire was blacked out in time the for the brigade’s AGM.
The brigade spent another weekend evening on the go with two, almost simultaneous, fires.
Around 1:30 there was a call- out to a fire on Marrinup near Commonage Road. Duncan was first on the scene while Emma got the Light Tanker. He was joined by members of the Dunsborough brigade, including their FCO. Emma quickly returned with the Light Tanker, followed by the Dunsbourgh 4.4 and their Light Tanker.
Meanwhile Rural’s 4.4 and 1.4 were directed to another fire on Caves Road near Whittle. FCO Mark was joined by Andy, Bevan, David, Justin, Mark P, Noel and Todd. The fire was burning along a 30m stretch of verge. Fortunately the vineyard was protected by a good firebreak.
It took about 90 minutes for the fires to be extinguished and blacked out. The fires were described as suspicious.
The brigade was back in business Saturday night, responding to a fire at the end of Lagoon Drive. Many members responded to the 9pm callout for all trucks.
Fortunately there was no wind and the residents had the fire under control by the time the brigade arrived. Duncan and Emma arrived with the Light Tanker to black out while the other trucks were stood down. Annie and Mark P, Bevan, Douglas, Fish, Kevin, Joe and Tony were also on the scene. Alan, Andy, Bob S, David and Mike B were on the stood down trucks. And Barb and John coordinated. By 10pm the brigade was on its way home with another reminder that although the fire season may be over, fires aren’t.
DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm said Saturday in explaining the role of the new Rural Fire Division, it will be business as usual in regard to fire fighting operations and training. Bush Fire Brigades “will do as they do now on an operational basis” he told volunteers and DFES personnel Saturday morning in Busselton.
Minister for Emergency Services, Fran Logan, told the meeting DFES has been restructured to allow it to move from a “response agency” to a “prepare and planning agency” for any emergency. The six divisions have been reduced to four with Rural Fire being one of the new divisions. The others are Operations, Corporate Services and Strategy and Emergency Management. Operations will be responsible for fire management in the same manner as today. Bush Fire Brigades will continue to be the responsibility of local government and this is not going to change under the revised legislation that will replace the Bush Fires Act, the minister confirmed to a question from David Hunt.
The Rural Fire Division will include the Bushfire Centre of Excellence which will “ensure WA has the best access to bushfire knowledge, training, technical expertise, science and research.” This will be run by current Lower South West Commissioner, John Tillman. There have been discussions with the Shire of Mundaring about locating the centre there but no final decisions have been made. The BCE will be involved in “high level” training, but regular training will continue as at present, the commissioner said.
The Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) will move from being a stand alone unit to being part of the Rural Fire Division. The division’s Bushfire Risk Management Planning group will be responsible for the Bushfire Risk Management Program which will manage the $35 million allocated to address bushfire risks and mitigation. The division will employ Volunteer Support Officers to “reduce the administrative duties for brigades” and Volunteer Liaison Officers to “facilitate communication between volunteers, DFES and the Government”.
The division’s executive director, Murray Carter, was previously head of OBRM after a long career with the Forest Department and Parks and Wildlife/CALM.
The $80 million initiative will be primarily funded by a 10.8% increase ($28) in the ESL Category 1 (urban) rates. ESL rates in the regions will rise from between $8-$17.
Ironically, the start of cool, damp weather brought the busiest day of the season for the brigade Saturday.
A nine o’clock callout had members turning up at a fire off Commanage Rd. However, a quick response by Coastal brought the fire under control before our trucks arrived.
At 7:30 in the evening the brigade was called to a shed fire on Abbey Farm Road. Matty and Fish were first on the scene and Duncan, in the Light Tanker, was the first truck to turn up. He was quickly followed by Coastal’s 2.4 and the brigade’s 4.4 and 1.4 . Alan was driving the 4.4 with Andy and Mike B, while David was driving the 1.4 with Bruce. Mike G joined Duncan in the LT.
The fire, thought to be caused by a faulty generator, had destroyed the roof and solar panels by the time the brigade arrived. With little wind, it was quickly contained and extinguished. However burning fuel and exploding fuel tanks made the incident especially hazardous.
Fish and Matty returned the next day with the 4.4 to ensure there was no further risk.
The day was a good reminder that even though summer is over the risk of fires isn’t.