Margaret River near miss from Western Australia bushfirefire

Harrison Davies

Margaret River finished an anxious week with its grapevines intact after a bushfire ravaged a national park in the north of the region.

The fire broke out on Monday night near the tourist town of Dunsborough, and was elevated to an emergency level soon after.

WA fire incident controller Blake Moore told the ABC that while no one was hurt and no property damaged, there had been a direct threat.

“We haven’t confirmed any [reports of damage] and we are working to make that area safe before going through and assessing those areas,” he said.

“Obviously, while we’re in this phase of the incident, it is quite difficult to determine whether those are houses or some of them are sheds. But once the area has been made safe, we will conduct a full assessment from them.”

Margaret River Wine Association CEO Amanda Whiteland said that whilst no vines were damaged in the blaze, it was still devastating to see the blow to the local environment.

“It has been a difficult fire season for the firefighters, emergency personnel and volunteers who have assisted to control the recent bushfires in our region,” she said.

“Thankfully, no homes or lives have been lost and no vineyards or wineries have been affected due to the huge collaborative effort from all the crews who played a part in responding. We extend a heartfelt thank-you to them all.

“Unfortunately, December’s Calgardup fire burnt over 6,000 hectares within the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park and the recent Meelup Regional Park fire burnt a further 225 hectares.  The loss of native plants, animals and birds that these fires have caused in the National Parks and region is absolutely devastating.”

The Margaret River wine river covers an area of 213,000ha stretching over 130km north to south, and 30km east to west.

Of that area, remnant vegetation covers roughly 46 percent of the space and vineyards make up just three per cent.


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