Category Archives: Western Australia

Western Australia | Gosnells SES volunteers devastated after EOC broken into and vandalized

Volunteers from the Gosnells State Emergency Service (SES) Unit received devastating news in the early hours of this morning. Some thoughtless individuals broke in to the Gosnells Emergency Operation Centre used by both the Gosnells SES and Gosnells Bush Fire Brigade. 

Gosnells SES Local Manager, Paul Hollamby said “The volunteers are devastated their ability to respond to emergency situations within the community has been affected”

Initially it was thought that they had only set fire to some impounded vehicles being stored in the car park, on behalf of Gosnells. Upon further investigation it appears that they took equipment from trucks and used it to break in to the Emergency Operations Centre. They smashed their way through doors, and once inside it appears they broke into drawers and cabinets.

“Some of the members have been volunteering to the community for 35 years, and helped raise funds for the construction of the Emergency Operations Centre”, said Paul Hollamby. “The volunteers and their families gave up their personal time so that the volunteers would have somewhere to train, store equipment and respond to emergencies.”  The extent of damage and theft will not be known until the Forensic Police have finished their investigation.

Paul Hollamby said “This thoughtless act will affect the commitment of the emergency service volunteers. They will re-think their willingness because next time these vandals may steal or damage their personal vehicles and property of the volunteers.”

The Gosnells SES volunteers collectively wore orange for more than 8000 hours across the state last year while helping to respond to and prepare for disasters.  Collectively the State Emergency Service comprises of volunteers who have similar experiences across the state. Upon hearing this devastating news, Gosnells SES has been overwhelmed by the offers of support and assistance from volunteers in other Units.

“These same volunteers spent hundreds of man-hours assisting at the recent fires at Parkerville. It is immensely disappointing for volunteers when they realise there are people in the community who prey on them while they assist other community members”, said Paul Hollamby

It is worth remembering that volunteers would not be able to make this commitment without the support of their families and employers.  Training with the SES is open to men and women, of all ages over 18. Contact the Gosnells SES on 9459 8015 to find out more about becoming a volunteer.

Western Australia | Take action with the start of bad weather between Three Rivers, Carnegie, Balgair, Norseman and Cue

If you live between Three Rivers, Carnegie, Balgair, Norseman, Southern Cross and Cue you should take action and stay safe with the start of bad weather.
This includes people in, near and between Kalgoorlie and Meekatharra and surrounding areas. This does not include Southern Cross.
This is unusual weather that could cause major damage to homes and make travel very dangerous.
WHAT TO DO:
DFES State Emergency Service (SES) has these tips to help you and your family stay safe:
  • Close your curtains and blinds, and stay inside away from windows
  • If caught outside find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams
  • Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning
  • If there is flooding, create your own sandbags by using pillow cases filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home.
IF DRIVING:
  • Slow down, turn your lights on and keep a safe distance from other drivers
  • If it is raining heavily and you cannot see, pull over and park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears
  • Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current
  • Be careful driving on gravel roads as surfaces will be slippery and muddy and vehicles could become bogged.
WEATHER DETAILS:
As at 3.13pm the Bureau of Meteorology advises a deep tropical low lies about 70 kilometres west-southwest of Newman at 3pm today and is expected to move slowly south over the next 24 hours. During Thursday the low will take a more south-easterly path through the Goldfields and reach the Eucla by Friday.
The low is likely to cause HEAVY RAINFALL that could cause FLASH FLOODING in parts of the warning area north of Kalgoorlie from Wednesday morning and extend to remaining parts by midnight Wednesday.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:

  • If your home has been badly damaged by a storm call the SES on 132 500
  • In a life threatening situation call 000
  • For the latest weather information visit www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 213.
After a storm SES volunteers make temporary repairs to homes that have been badly damaged, such as roofs that have been ripped off or large fallen trees on homes and cars. Please contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Call 1300 657 209, visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au or listen to news bulletins.

Western Australia | WA sends support for South Australian bushfires

A contingent of 17 personnel departed this morning to assist South Australia in responding to a number of bushfires burning across the State.

The Western Australian group consists of 12 personnel from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), four from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), and one volunteer from Jandakot Bush Fire Brigade.

DFES Duty Assistant Commissioner Chris Arnol said the group would initially assist in supporting the South Australian incident management team for the Eden Valley bushfire in the Barossa region.

“WA was asked to send assistance and despite our own recent bushfires, WA personnel are always willing to help fellow firefighters in other states.

“Over 2,500 hectares of grassland and at least three homes have been destroyed by a bushfire burning in Eden Valley.

“Our team has been deployed to assist with the management of the emergency on a 12 hour shift rotation until the incident concludes.

“DFES and DPaW would also like to reassure Western Australians that safety of our State remains the priority, and would always ensure there is adequate protection in place.

“Like many people in Australia my heart goes out to all the families who have lost properties or have been affected by the number of devastating bushfires that are occurring across the country.”

The exact period of any deployment can be difficult to determine, however it is anticipated the Western Australian team will be deployed in South Australia for approximately five days.​

Western Australia | Measles alert – 14 confirmed cases

The Department of Health is warning people to check their measles vaccination status after two Western Australian adults—a woman in her 30s and a man in his 40s were hospitalised in the last week.

The two were infected with measles following travel to Asia.

A total of 14 confirmed cases of measles have been reported during the period October 2013 to January 2014 compared to an average of just three cases during this period over the previous five years.

Acting Director of Communicable Disease Control Dr Paul Effler said that it was possible that more measles cases would occur in Western Australia over the coming weeks.

Dr Effler said measles was highly contagious among people who were not fully immunised.

“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through coughing and sneezing,” Dr Effler said.

“Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears.

“Complications can range from an ear infection and diarrhoea to pneumonia or swelling of the brain.

“Anyone who develops measles symptoms should seek medical attention, but it is important that they phone ahead first to ensure they don’t share the waiting area with other patients and risk infecting them.”

Dr Effler said measles could be prevented through vaccination. Two doses of measles containing vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) given four weeks apart will protect approximately 99% of those immunised.

Dr Effler said that people born in 1965 or earlier were usually already immune because they had measles disease during childhood, but younger people (those born in 1966 or later) who had not received two doses of measles vaccine were likely to be susceptible to measles.

“Measles is still common in many parts of the world and Australians who travel abroad need to check their immunisation status,” Dr Effler said.

“If you are younger than 49 years old and are not sure if you’ve had two doses of measles vaccine you should consult with your doctor at least a month before your departure.”

Dr Effler also urged parents to check that their children are fully immunised. Children should receive a dose of measles vaccine at both 12 and 18 months of age, as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.

For more information on measles visit: Measles fact sheet

Western Australia | Residents in the Shire of Mundaring begin recovery after bushfire

People in parts of Parkerville, Stoneville and Mount Helena still need to be cautious when visiting or returning to their homes throughout the day.

The bushfire is contained and under control however conditions in the area remain dangerous.

Fire and emergency services, Western Power and other agencies are still on scene making the area safe.

IF YOUR HOME HAS BEEN AFFECTED:
• The zone where homes have been lost is hazardous due to damaged infrastructure, downed powerlines and the risk of falling tree limbs. People who live in this area will be escorted on to the fire ground today, but will not be able to stay at this time.
• People outside this zone will be allowed to return to their homes today, however they will need to register for a permit and access will be restricted. Residents in this area need to be aware electricity may not be restored for another few days.  If conditions are breached, permits may be revoked.

A number of agencies are working together to help the community recover, including the Salvation Army, the Department for Child Protection and Family Support, and the Shire of Mundaring.

These steps may help you and your family:
• Seek support from local welfare agencies.
• Encourage your family to talk about their experience with friends and neighbours.
• Rely on official information from authorities.
• Become involved in community activities as soon as you can.
• Children should return to their normal routine as soon as possible.

A one stop shop of services with representatives from State Government departments, the Shire of Mundaring, insurers and health fund services is open today at the Brown Park Recreation Centre on the corner of Amherst Road and Salisbury Road in Swan View for people who have been impacted by the fire.

RETURNING HOME:
Please follow the guidelines below to ensure your health and safety when returning home:
• You should throw away all perishable food in fridges and freezers.
• You should also throw away any medicines and drinks that have been exposed to heat, smoke and water damage.
• Rainwater tanks may be contaminated and unsafe to drink.
• The Shire of Mundaring will be assisting by establishing extra rubbish bin collections.
• Make sure you take photos for your insurance company of anything you throw out.

For further information please refer to the ‘After The Fire’ guide on the DFES website.

ROAD CLOSURES:
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site. A number of roads remain closed, for further details contact Main Roads WA on 138 138, visit www.mainroads.wa.gov.au or the Shire of Mundaring.

FINANCIAL HELP:
Monetary assistance is available for families in immediate need of help. For more information visit the Shire of Mundaring or Department for Child Protection and Family Support representatives at the Brown Park Recreation Centre.

PET WELFARE:
For help with pet welfare contact your local vet and the Shire of Mundaring Ranger service. A register is set up at the Brown Park Recreation Centre for registering addresses where pets have been left unattended.  The local ranger with assistance from the RSPCA is conducting animal welfare checks. RSPCA WA may provide support and relocation for lost and injured animals after major fires and can be contacted on 9209 9300.

POWER:
Western Power has advised that approximately 1000 properties are without power in parts of Parkerville, Stoneville and Mount Helena. For further details visit www.westernpower.com.au.

PHONE:
Affected customers should call the faults line on 13 22 03 and advise staff if your home was damaged. If you are not a Telstra customer contact your service provider for help.

EXTRA INFORMATION:
• Firefighters will continue to strengthen containment lines and ensure the area is 100 per cent blacked out throughout the day. Crews will also be conducting backburning in the area.
• The alert level will remain until all suppression activities have been completed.

AGENCY RESPONSIBLE:
DFES and the Shire of Mundaring are managing the recovery efforts.

Western Australia | Act decisively for the weekend’s dangerous fire conditions

With very hot, dry and windy conditions forecast across Perth and southern parts of Western Australia this weekend, people should act decisively now to prepare for a bushfire starting near them.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Operations Command Deputy Commissioner Lloyd Bailey said in the forecast conditions fires would start suddenly, move quickly and be difficult to bring under control.
“The weekend weather forecast poses a very high bushfire risk for people in the metropolitan area and large parts the State,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Bailey said the dangerous fire conditions meant that people should consider tonight what they do tomorrow during the hot weather and start taking action.
“Planning to plan is not a plan, you need to be ready to act,” he said.
“If you are not prepared to the highest level, leaving bushfire risk areas early in the day is your safest option.”
Deputy Commissioner Bailey said as a preventative measure, a Total Fire Ban had been declared for a number of regions across WA for tomorrow including the Perth metropolitan area.
“DFES and volunteer firefighters across the State are doing everything we can to prepare for the dangerous fire weather this weekend,” he said.
“A Total Fire Ban, which makes it illegal to do anything that is likely to start a fire, will assist the community and emergency services in reducing the possibility that accidental fires will start.”
Deputy Commissioner Bailey said the rules around Total Fire Bans applied to everyone including residents, businesses and other organisations regardless of location.
“A Total Fire Ban affects us all, whether you live in urban or regional areas, and everyone needs to be aware of exactly what it means,” he said.
“For example when a Total Fire Ban is declared it prohibits the lighting of any fires in the open air and any other activities that may start a fire.
“Breaching a Total Fire Ban can result in serious penalties and even jail time, so no matter what your question, it is better to ask and find out than take a chance.”

Information on Total Fire Bans and a copy of Prepare. Act. Survive is available on the DFES website at www.dfes.wa.gov.auor by calling 1800 709 355.

Western Australia | Bushfire WATCH AND ACT for the western part of the Shire of Plantagenet

Tuesday 7 January 2014 – 6:15 AM
The following alert has been issued by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW).
*Please note: Changes under Alert Level, Bushfire Behaviour and What Firefighters Are Doing
Bushfire WATCH AND ACT for the western part of the Shire of Plantagenet
ALERT LEVEL:
A bushfire WATCH AND ACT remains in place for people in the western part of the Shire of Plantagenet, east of Clear Hills Road, south of Muir Highway, west of McMahon Road and the Springs Road and north of Blue Lake Road.
There remains a risk to life and property if the fire behaviour escalates due to possible weather changes.
BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:
  • The bushfire is contained, but not controlled. The current area of the fire is 14,100 hectares, with a perimeter of 61km.
  • Moderate west to south-west winds are expected throughout the day.
WHAT TO DO:
  •  Motorists and people in the area are advised to avoid the area south of Muir Highway in the Perillup area and also north of the Break Road area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working in the area.
ROAD CLOSURES:
Basin Road east of Romance Road, Watershed Road, Granite Road, Amarillup Road, Clear Hills Road and the western end of Blue Lake Road remain closed.
Smoke may be visible on some roads in the area. Motorists should take care, turn on headlights and drive at appropriate speeds when travelling in these areas.
RECREATION SITE CLOSURES:
The Blue Lake area remains closed and the Mount Lindesay recreation site and walk trails are closed. People are advised to avoid using the Munda Biddi Trail in the Walpole to Denmark area.
WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
  • 67 firefighters from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), Forest Products Commission, Shire of Plantagenet, Shire of Denmark and private contractors, in 24 appliances and five machines, will work through the day to mop up and patrol the fire perimeter.
  • 43 non-firefighting personnel from DPaW will also work through the day in support roles to assist with fire operations.
EXTRA INFORMATION
  • The fire was reported at 4pm on Friday 03 January 2014.
  • The cause of the fire is suspected deliberate lighting.
  • People are asked to report any suspicious behaviour to Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
  • The Department of Parks and Wildlife is managing the fire.
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dpaw.wa.gov.au,www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 1300 657 209, follow DPaW on Facebook or Twitter @WAParksWildlife or listen to news bulletins.

Western Australia | Psychosis cases spark New Year’s Eve drugs warning

New Year revellers were today warned by WA Health to avoid drugs and go easy on alcohol after Fremantle emergency doctors reported treating seven psychosis cases in 24 hours caused by an as-yet unidentified illicit drug.

Fremantle Hospital ED Co-Director Dr Ian Dey said the latest spike in cases illustrated the dangers drugs posed.

“What we know so far is that these cases have involved the ingestion of blue unmarked capsules which were purchased locally, with most believing they contained predominantly MDMA(ecstasy),” Dr Dey said.

“These cases are a further warning to people to be extremely cautious taking drugs such as these – not just at this time of the year but all year round.

“You just can’t be sure of where the drug has come from, what’s in it or what effect it might have and as we have seen over the past 24 hours, the effect can be very dramatic and dangerous.”

“Ideally the best thing to do is avoid drugs entirely.

“However, if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, avoid dangerous activities such as driving and swimming.”

Dr Dey urged revellers who suspected a friend was badly affected by drugs or alcohol to call an ambulance immediately, as every second counted.

Western Australia | Category 3 Cyclone Christine – Yellow Alert for Pardoo to Mardie in the Pilbara

Monday 30 December 2013 – 8:10 AM

A YELLOW ALERT is current for people in or near the coastal and inland communities of Pardoo to Mardie.

This includes people in Port Hedland, South Hedland, Whim Creek, Roebourne, Point Samson, Wickham, Karratha, Dampier and extending inland to Marble Bar and surrounding areas.

There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a cyclone is approaching the area. You need to take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone.

WHAT TO DO:
DFES State Emergency Service (SES) and Volunteer Emergency Service (VES) advises you to:

Fasten all cyclone screens, secure boats, caravans, trailers, garden sheds, outdoor furniture, rainwater tanks and LPG bottles.
Move vehicles under cover.
Ensure pets and animals are in a safe area.
Pack a relocation kit to be taken with your emergency kit.
Be aware that shops may now be closing.

A BLUE ALERT is current for people in or near the coastal and inlandcommunities of Bidyadanga to Pardoo

This includes people in or near coastal areas from Mardie to Onslow, including Pannawonica, and extending inland to Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Newman and surrounding areas.

Although there is no immediate danger you need to start preparing for dangerous weather and keep up to date.

WHAT TO DO:
DFES State Emergency Service (SES) and Volunteer Emergency Service (VES) advises you to:

Get ready for dangerous weather by preparing your home inside and out.
Secure or remove loose material from around your home.
Ensure your emergency kit is complete and check your family knows what to do.

CYCLONE WARNING is current for people in or near the coastal and inland communities from Bidyadanga to Onslow, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo.

You should review your family cyclone plan and the community alerts system, and make sure everyone knows what to do.

Organise an emergency kit with a portable battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit.

CYCLONE WATCH is current for people in or near the coastal and inland communities of Newman, Leinster and Meekatharra

You should prepare your home inside and out. Keep up to date with the development of the cyclone through radio, television or the internet.

An ALL CLEAR advice is current for people in or near the coastal communities of Cape Leveque and Bidyadanga including Broome.

WHAT TO DO:
DFES State Emergency Service (SES) and Volunteer Emergency Service (VES) advises:

The threat has passed but continue to take care to avoid the dangers caused by damage.
Be aware of fallen powerlines and trees, broken water and sewage pipelines, loose roof sheeting and other material.

CYCLONE DETAILS:
As at 6.08am the Bureau of Meteorology advises that at 5:00am Severe Tropical Cyclone Christine, Category 3, was estimated to be180 kilometres north of Port Hedland and 305 kilometres northeast of Karratha and moving south southwest at 13 kilometres per hour towards the Pilbara coast.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Christine lies north of the Pilbara and continues to intensify as it moves towards the coast.

Gales with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour, together with heavy rainfall, are expected in coastal communities between Broome and Port Hedland this morning, extending west to Karratha and possibly Onslow during Monday afternoon and
evening.

Christine is expected to intensify further during Monday, and cross the coast Monday night or early Tuesday morning as a severe tropical cyclone, most likely between Karratha and Port Hedland.

VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts in excess of 200 kilometres per hour are likely near the centre as the cyclone crosses the coast.

DESTRUCTIVE winds with gusts in excess of 150 kilometres per hour are expected to extend well inland on Monday night and Tuesday as the cyclone moves south.

Widespread heavy rainfall is expected near the cyclone track and Flood Warnings have been issued for the Pilbara.

People on the coast between Pardoo and Dampier are warned of the potential for a VERY DANGEROUS STORM TIDE Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Tides may rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with DAMAGING WAVES and VERY DANGEROUS COASTAL INUNDATION.

WHAT SES and VES VOLUNTEERS ARE DOING:

SES and VES volunteers are actively monitoring the cyclone and are preparing for response.

Incident management teams have been established to help people that may be impacted by the cyclone.

DFES is working closely with WA Police, Western Power, Main Roads, Local Government, Department of Health, Water Corporation, Department of Education, Department of Child Protection, Public Transport Authority and Telstra to minimise the impact on the community.

ROAD CLOSURES:
Travellers should avoid all non critical travel north of Carnavon until the cyclone passes.

Motorists should avoid the area and should not drive into water of unknown depth and current.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:

For SES assistance call 132 500
In a life threatening situation call 000
For the latest weather information call 1300 659 210 or visit www.bom.gov.au
For information about road conditions and closures contact local Police or Main Roads WA on 138 138.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Call 1300 657 209, visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au or listen to news bulletins.

Western Australia | Continue to prepare for flooding in the north and west Kimberley

Saturday 28 December 2013 – 10:45 AM

People in the communities of Beagle Bay, Cape Leveque, Derby, Cockatoo Island, Kuri Bay and surrounding areas should prepare for possible flooding expected this weekend. 

There is no immediate danger but you need to keep up to date in case the situation changes.

WHAT TO DO:
DFESs State Emergency Service (SES) and Volunteer Emergency Services (VES) advises you to:
• Prepare to relocate equipment and livestock early so they are not caught in floodwaters.
• Prepare an emergency kit including enough canned food and water to last for four days.
• Pack a relocation kit to be taken with your emergency kit.
• Fill your vehicle’s fuel tank.
• Watch for changes in water levels so you are ready if you need to relocate.
• Never walk, swim or play in floodwaters, as they are dangerous.
• If you are a traveller do not park or camp adjacent to rivers.

IF DRIVING:
- Floodways and river levels may rise rapidly so be careful at crossings.
- Obey road closure signs and do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.
- Take care on gravel and unsealed roads as they may be slippery and muddy, and you could get bogged.
- Carry extra food and water when travelling in case of long delays at crossings.

ROAD CLOSURES:
The Gibb River Road is closed from Lennard River to Wyndham.
FLOOD DETAILS:
As at 10.12 am the Bureau of Meteorology advises that their is a flood watch for the west Kimberley.
A tropical low currently well to the northwest of Broome is expected to develop into a tropical cyclone later today and move southwest towards the Pilbara coast over the weekend and early next week. Heavy rainfall is possible about the north and west Kimberley over the weekend, extending into the Pilbara on Monday and Tuesday. For the next 24 hours, widespread rainfall of 70mm to 80mm with isolated heavier falls are forecast for areas from Broome to Kalumburu.
Rainfall during the past few days and the forecast rainfall for next 24 hours in the West Kimberley may cause significant stream rises with areas of flooding.

Current river levels are available from Department of Water at www.water.wa.gov.au.

WHAT SES and VES VOLUNTEERS ARE DOING:
Thirty SES and VES volunteers from the Kimberley are on standby.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:
- For SES assistance call 132 500
- In a life threatening situation call 000
- For the latest flood information call 1300 659 213 or visit www.bom.gov.au/wa/flood.
- For information about road conditions and closures contact the local shire or Main Roads WA on 138 138.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Call 1300 657 209, visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au or listen to news bulletins.