Firefighters have been praised for their response to this week’s bushfires as conditions improve at the scene of the blaze.
Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson and DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm met local firefighters in Narrogin on Tuesday after flying over the nearby bushfire.
Dawson said state emergency services had “done an outstanding job” battling the weekend fires, successfully saving grain facilities as well as many farms.
“There has been an extraordinary effort from the farmers and just the local communities in general,” he said.
“It was everyone from farmers fighting the fire to, in some cases, CWAs preparing meals and sandwiches, local government staff came out and the multitude of volunteers from the SES and fire brigades of bush were all there.”
DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm acknowledged some of the difficult conditions ground crews have faced over the past few days.
“In Corrigin, it was fire moving incredibly fast up there,” he said. “At one point there was almost 35km of fire rolling in really difficult conditions, with winds of up to 85km/h.”
He praised the efforts of staff at a pigsty near Narrogin for their efforts to save their cattle.
“Our thoughts are with them in what must have been an incredibly difficult situation, but their efforts have meant there have been significant savings there,” Mr Klemm said.
It was a mixed day across the region, with residents of Dumbleyung, Wickepin, Dongolocking, Kukerin, Tincurrin and Collanilling ordered to use water from the system only for essential purposes after extensive damage was reported. been caused to the water main between Wickepin and Dumbleyung. Further north, Western Power was able to restore power to Corrigin after outages caused by the bushfires.
Dawson said he contacted the office of Federal Emergency Services Minister Bridget McKenzie on Monday after receiving complaints about the reliability of cellphone coverage during emergencies.
“We are hearing the frustrations of a number of local counties and people on the ground who have experienced telecommunications outages over the past few days, so my commitment is to work with the Commonwealth to ensure we can resolve this problem for the future,” he said.
It is still too early to determine how the fires in the Wheatbelt region were started, but Mr Klemm said he expected authorities to have an idea in the coming days.
Mr Dawson asked anyone in need of help to seek her out.
“”The last few days have been difficult but the next few weeks when we start the recovery, probably even more difficult and the months to come will be difficult,” he said.
The Wickepin and Corrigin fires both remain at the Watch and Act level, with residents of both areas urged to stay out of bushfire areas. So far, about 58,500 hectares have been burned in the area.