Firefighters remember devastating fires four years on

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Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
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Gabriel Maritz, Leaha Harrison and Les George of Yarloop Volunteer Bushfire Brigade.
Camera IconGabriel Maritz, Leaha Harrison and Les George of Yarloop Volunteer Bushfire Brigade.

Today marks four years since the harrowing bushfires tore through Yarloop.

The town was reduced to ashes in just seven minutes in a fierce blaze that raged for more than two weeks throughout the region.

More than 70,000ha were burnt in total, an area equivalent to the size of Singapore.

Two residents lost their lives and 166 houses were burnt.

However, the spirit of Yarloop remains strong with residents and members of the Yarloop Volunteer Bushfire Brigade preparing to gather tonight for the Waroona-Yarloop bushfire’s fourth anniversary drive around event.

The event will see all brigades who fought in the fire drive through Yarloop in memory of those who lost their lives and those affected by the devastating fires.

Yarloop Volunteer Bushfire Brigade captain Matthew Anzellino said the fire was not something he liked to think about, however he believed the resilience of the town had been heartening.

“It’s starting to become like it was, there are new houses going up and new families coming into the town,” he said.

Mr Anzellino admitted that watching the bushfire crisis worsen around the country hit a bit too close to home. “We empathise with those in the frontline and our thoughts go out to the families of all the firefighters and civilians who have lost their lives.”

Following the Federal Government’s announcement of compensation payments for volunteer firefighters, Mr Anzellino said the initiative was a good start, but more needed to be done for all volunteer emergency service groups.

The Yarloop drive around event will commence at 5.30pm.

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