Yarloop community rallied to help others

Zach RelphHarvey-Waroona Reporter
An aerial photo shows a property burnt to the ground.
Camera IconAn aerial photo shows a property burnt to the ground. Credit: Ray Raab/7 News

Twenty four hours after one of the most catastrophic bushfires in WA’s history raged through Yarloop, the defiant community resilience now synonymous with the town sprung into action.

Yarloop Sgt Ross Adams set up a barbecue on the oval to provide food to residents and the emergency response units working to contain the blaze.

Yarloop Bowling and Recreation Club president Ron Sackville helped turn the club into an emergency centre after January's blaze.
Camera IconYarloop Bowling and Recreation Club president Ron Sackville helped turn the club into an emergency centre after January's blaze. Credit: Zach Relph

The makeshift site served as a resting and recovery area for two days until it was moved to the Yarloop Bowling and Recreation Club with the access in and out of the town limited.

“Within a couple of days we had power, water and a portable shower and toilet set-up at the club,” club president Ron Sackville said when reliving the first week after January’s blaze.

The fire scorched farming properties along Eckersley Road.
Camera IconThe fire scorched farming properties along Eckersley Road. Credit: The West Australian, Michael Wilson
The fire scorched farming properties along Eckersley Road.
Camera IconThe fire scorched farming properties along Eckersley Road. Credit: The West Australian, Michael Wilson

The bowling club was Yarloop’s primary emergency centre for about two weeks and provided free meals for about six weeks.

“It served a good purpose because it allowed people to come together,” Mr Sackville said.

The Waroona-Yarloop fire destroyed big areas of pine plantation.
Camera IconThe Waroona-Yarloop fire destroyed big areas of pine plantation. Credit: The West Australian, Michael Wilson

Twelve months since the fatal fire, the club is still a popular place for people to unite.

The Waroona-Yarloop fire destroyed big areas of pine plantation.
Camera IconThe Waroona-Yarloop fire destroyed big areas of pine plantation. Credit: The West Australian, Michael Wilson

It has 225 social members, made up of Yarloop residents and people from surrounding areas, and also held a major bowls meeting on October 8 which was attended by bowlers across the State.

Mr Sackville said the club would act as a social area for residents as the clean-up efforts throughout the town continue during 2017 and beyond.

“We will continue to try and help the town as much as we can,” Mr Sackville said.

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