Shire of Mundaring has extended its sincere thanks and gratitude to the emergency workers, front line service providers and government agencies who banded together in the fight against the fire which tore through Perth's eastern region last week.
The fire, which stared in Wooroloo, burned for almost a week but is now contained and controlled. More than 10,900 hectares of land was burnt, with 86 properties confirmed lost. Seven of those are in the Shire of Mundaring.
Fortunately, the tireless efforts of career and volunteer firefighters resulted in 195 homes being saved.
Since the fire began the Shire has worked in close partnership with the City of Swan, who were also greatly impacted by the fires, establishing a Joint Recovery Committee and other forms of support.
Shire President, John Daw, said fighting the Category 3 fire, whilst Perth was in the midst of a five-day COVID-19 lockdown, was a mammoth task and would not have been possible without the collective efforts of various organisations.
"From career and volunteer firefighters to the State Emergency Services and WA Police, medical personnel, those who worked at the Incident Control Centre and evacuation centres, and so many others on the ground and behind the scenes, we salute your courage and sacrifice," Cr Daw sad.
"On the front line were Career Fire and Rescue Service, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service Volunteers, Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services, Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Australia, the Forest Products Commission plus local farmers and pastoralists, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) aerial fleet, which included an additional two Large Air Tankers sent from NSW.
"We also extend heartfelt thanks to the government and local government agencies who united during the crisis and continue to support each other as we take the first steps to recovery, as well as Shire of Mundaring Councillors, CEO Jonathan Throssell and staff for the support they have provided to the community.
Cr Daw said the Mundaring Arena site was transformed into an impressive Incident Control Centre and thanked the staff who helped manage the facility while so many agencies and people were on site.
"Our community members and local businesses lent a hand by donating food and drinks to firefighters or items to assist the evacuees, and pledged money to the Lord Mayor's Relief Appeal and Bendigo Bank WA Summer Bushfire Appeal. To all of you we say: thank you."
Sending a message of hope to City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey, CEO Jeremy Edwards and his staff, Cr Daw added: "Our thoughts are with you all. Although your community has been heavily impacted by this bushfire, your fighting spirit is strong."
A State Recovery Coordination Group has been convened under the oversight of the State Recovery Controller – Wooroloo Bushfire, Dr Ron Edwards.
The Group is committed to ensuring a whole-of-government approach is taken when providing a localised and personalised response to those residents who have been impacted by the Wooroloo bushfires.
Cr Daw said the key initial focus would be to support those who lost their homes in the bushfire.
"There will also be planning undertaken to help our community and the environment recover over the longer term," he said.
"The joint Recovery Coordinating Committee with the City of Swan will report to the State Recovery Coordination Group, and I will be Chairing the Shire's Local Recovery Coordinating Committee.
"I have declared an emergency arising from the Wooroloo fire for the Shire of Mundaring, and this will allow us to act quickly by authorising unbudgeted expenditure to be directed where it is needed most, such as distribution and acquittal of State Government relief payments and to expedite the clean-up.
"Shire staff have also been in close communication with all residents who lost their homes and are assisting them to make an application for the State Government's Bushfire Relief Payments.
"The Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund has also been established, with those who have lost their homes able to apply for $25,000 in assistance from the fund."
The Shire continues to work with the City of Swan and the State Government to arrange clean-up of the properties of those who lost their homes.
"Our community is resilient. We will get through this, just as we have done in the past," Cr Daw said.
"My message to our residents is that we are here for you. We will continue to support you in the days, weeks and months ahead to provide a coordinated response."
Image credit: DFES Incident Photographer Morten Boe