AUTHORITIES have praised the community support for each other and firefighters during the ongoing bushfire emergency in Yanchep and Two Rocks.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services held a community information session on Friday morning to update people affected by the out-of-control blaze as they entered a third day of firefighting efforts.
Hundreds of firefighters have attended the fire since it started in Yanchep National Park on December 11, with aerial support attempting to extinguish the blaze and ground crews building containment lines.
About 250 people attended the December 13 meeting, where DFES Superintendent Andy Hinton praised residents who responded quickly to emergency warnings and evacuated the area, helping to ensure there had been “zero lives lost”.
Residents responded with applause and relief when Supt Hinton said there had been “zero homes lost”.
He said firefighters appreciated all the support they’d received from the community, with many people donating supplies.
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts thanked DFES and firefighters, including local brigades and those from other areas across Perth, for all they were doing to fight the fire.
Mrs Roberts said residents had been supporting and looking out for each other.
“One of the things that’s been absolutely outstanding is the support of residents,” she said.
Mrs Roberts said residents in other areas had offered help to those affected, including to keep pets that could not be taken to the evacuation centres.
Asked about looting rumours, Supt Hinton said he had not received any news of that occurring.
A resident said someone on a quad bike had been going around Seatrees and Breakwater estates to check every property.
Resident Karl Gibson, who runs the Yanchep Two Rocks Alkimos Community page, said the community had responded generously to calls for food and drink for firefighters.
“The community support was amazing,” he said.
People can post or get offers of help here.
Emergency services continue to work to protect lives and properties, and urged residents to heed warnings, which are being updated at www.emergency.wa.gov.au.
The speed at which the fire spread prompted warnings for people farther north in the Shire of Gingin to ‘watch and act’ in case it approached the area.
Authorities urged people to look out for each other and check on neighbours.
Asked about when it would be safe for people with respiratory problems to return, Supt Hinton said they should not return to their homes as it was still an active fire with smoke throughout the area.
He said they were trying to give residents access to return home, but would close roads if it was not safe.
“We can’t put you down a road that’s dangerous,” he said.