Firefighters bring Geraldton blazes under control

Staff ReporterThe West Australian
Fire crews in Geraldton today.
Camera IconFire crews in Geraldton today.

Twin bushfires that threatened lives and homes in Geraldton yesterday afternoon have been downgraded to Advice level.

Both fires were reported around noon yesterday, one in the eastern suburb of Utakarra and the other in the northern suburb of Drummond Cove.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services Mid West Gascoyne region Superintendent Craig Smith last night said there had been no structural losses and no injuries, but the Utakarra fire had come “extremely close” to homes.

“We’ve had some damage to fences and garden sheds, but no loss of homes. We’re confident in the short-term of controlling it fully,” he said.

Firefighting crews have worked through the night to bring both fires under control, but residents have been warned to to keep up to date in case the situation changes.

Speaking last night, Mr Smith confirmed a volunteer firefighter had been overcome by heat exhaustion and taken to hospital during the afternoon.

“It was extremely hot and dry, crews have been working extremely hard and a volunteer succumbed to heat exhaustion,” he said.

“It was hot, dry and windy. All the ingredients you need for a good fire. All you need is fuel load and an ignition source.

“How it started, we don’t know yet, but we stress to the community the need to be vigilant.

“It’s only November 13, and we’ve had this already. The bushfire season is just starting.

“It’s just a bit worrying at the moment, to have this hot, dry windy weather at this stage of the year.

“We’re keen for the community to be on its toes. That helps us out a lot.

“[The] public can help us by doing all they can so we don’t have another fire.”

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