Paulls Valley residents fear being trapped if bushfire hits suburb


Chris O'Hora of Paulls Valley is petitioning for Hummerston Road to be extended and upgraded to improve emergency access. Picture: David Baylis d478223
Chris O'Hora of Paulls Valley is petitioning for Hummerston Road to be extended and upgraded to improve emergency access. Picture: David Baylis d478223

RESIDENTS in Paulls Valley fear they will be trapped if a fast moving wild fire hits the suburb and are petitioning for Hummerston Road to be upgraded to improve emergency access.

Calamunnda Camel Farm owner Chris O’Hora presented a petition to the City of Kalamunda last month with 65 signatures fromresidents and business owners requesting Hummerston Road East to Fern Road in Piesse Brook to be upgraded.

The retired professional firefighter also co-ordinates the Paulls Valley Bush Fire Ready Action Group and said in the event of a bushfire closing Mundaring Weir Road, Paulls Valley residents would have no way out.

“First we need to make this section accessible to residents even if it is just a gravel track in the interim and then it needs to be made a proper thoroughfare,” he said.

“This would give residents an alternative out of the valley.

“When you look at high bush fire risk in our location and the meandering road pattern it would be very easy to drive into bushfire and the loss of life would be catastrophic.

“There are some residents who plan to stay and defend during a bushfire, however there are many younger families who don’t want the trauma of being involved in bushfire plan to pack and leave.

“As a professional firefighter for 33 years having attended the devastating Parkerville-Roleystone fires it is imperative good egress is available.”

The City said over the years it had received numerous requests from Paulls Valley and Piesse Brook residents to upgrade the track to provide an alternative access during emergency situations, in particular bushfires, and when Mundaring Weir Road was closed for routine maintenance works and cycling events.

City of Kalamunda acting chief executive Natalie Martin Goode said the report on the Paulls Valley petition was put on hold in December because a second petition received at the December 2017 council meeting objected to the opening of Hummerston Road.

“The City will be undertaking community consultation with local residents before reporting back to council,” she said.

“This is expected to take place over February and March 2018.”

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