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Fire response praised by Cascade farmers

Cascade farmers are lauding swift community action after a blaze which scorched more than 700ha was extinguished at the weekend.

The fire started near Cascade at 12.18pm on Sunday with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services warning it was unpredictable and moving in a fast north-north-easterly direction.

On Tuesday, DFES reported the inferno was “contained and under control” with firefighters “remotely monitoring the situation” with about 760ha burnt.

Grain grower Brody Wickstein said it was believed the fire started after a header comb struck a rock in the family’s barley paddock.

Mr Wickstein praised firefighters and neighbouring farmers’ prompt response, admitting it was “a bit hairy for a couple of hours”.

“We lost about 150ha of barley,” he said.

A screenshot from Cascade farmer John Carmody's video of the weekend fire.A screenshot from Cascade farmer John Carmody's video of the weekend fire.
Camera IconA screenshot from Cascade farmer John Carmody’s video of the weekend fire. Credit: John Carmody

“It took out about 200ha of stubble too before it jumped into bush.

“The response from the volunteers and the community to help get it out was really, really fantastic.”

The blaze spread from the Wickstein property, through a Shire of Esperance-owned reserve and on to the Carmody family’s nearby farm.

John Carmody said the blaze burnt part of his Cascade farm, but was extinguished before it wreaked havoc on the canola crop.

“We had a bit of an interesting time with the dams being dry and weren’t able to take water from them,” he said.

“But there were three or four water trucks there to help. There was a massive response from the Esperance community, which was great.”

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