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Funding boost for Bornholm Kronkup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade

Regional bush fire brigades in “high-risk” areas have received a welcome boost to their firefighting equipment to aid their emergency response this summer.

More than 50 new water tanks are set to be built across regional WA, with eight of those being rolled out in Great Southern shires such as Albany, Plantagenet and Woodanilling.

The Bornholm Kronkup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade will receive one new water tank and the City of Albany has supplied the crew with a new water pump.

Fire control officer Chris Ayres said the turnaround time when filling up water trucks was “crucial” in the event of a large-scale fire.

“It will allow for quick and easy filling of the trucks, whereas the old system is a bit outdated,” he said.

“Instead of filling the truck up in about 10 or 12 minutes, we will now be able to do it in about three or four minutes.

“The turnaround is crucial because the more minutes you wait, the less trucks that are out on the ground fighting the fire.”

Agricultural Region MLC Shelley Payne said the funding ensured local bush fire brigades were equipped to protect communities.

“Our community understands the very real threat of bushfire, and we know how important our local bush fire brigades are,” she said.

“When bushfires strike, local bush fire brigades are often the first to respond.”

Mr Ayres said he was concerned about fuel loads in the Bornholm area which he said were “increasing quite significantly”.

“Within our district we have got a lot of residents in a reasonably high fire danger area with high fuel loads,” he said.

“With the less people burning these days … and it being so wet the fuel loads are increasing and not enough is getting done to reduce those loads.

“It is concerning because it would be better to be preventative and to do burn-offs a lot more regularly than to go and put fires out in the heat of summer when there is a lot of wind.”

Mr Ayres encouraged people to keep their properties clear of fuel loads and to clean out their gutters ahead of summer.

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