Fire safety concerns in Jarrahdale

Fire safety concerns in Jarrahdale

Jarrahdale residents Garry Tomlinson, Vicki and Aaron May and Simon Johnson. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Jarrahdale resident Garry Tomlinson was first alerted to the fact that escaping via the Serpentine National Park in a fire emergency was no longer an option, when he approached the shire about the state of the council’s verges. 

Mr Tomlinson has lived in Jarrahdale for the past three years and said he has a number of fire-related concerns, which include high and dry council verges, the lack of firebreaks on some properties along Medulla Road and also what he describes as the non-existent maintenance and upkeep of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ emergency escape route. 

The recent conclusion by the department that the emergency exit route through the Serpentine National Park is not a designated or gazetted fire escape route, has further cemented fear into the mind of Mr Tomlinson and many of his fellow neighbours who live in the Millbrook Estate. 

“As both the department and the shire have deemed them unsafe and closed them, this officially leaves the residents of Millbrook with no way out,” he said. 

“It is just sad to see how there has been nothing done about this and all I originally asked for was for the verges to be cleared.”

Member for Darling Range Alyssa Hayden said she has received a number of concerns regarding fire safety in the Millbrook Estate, as well as several concerns about the lack of clarity over who is responsible for the maintenance of the access route through the Serpentine National Park. 

“Due to the fact that we are now in the peak fire season and Jarrahdale is located in a fire prone region, I have requested to know who is responsible for the route through the Serpentine National Park, what has been done to rectify this situation and whether or not the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions are working together to establish an alternate emergency exit,” she said 

“I have also sought to confirm who is responsible for the verges and the telecommunication lines to ensure their adequate upkeep. 

“I am yet to receive responses to my requests, however I have asked that they be treated as a matter of urgency given the extreme heat and increased fire risk at the moment.” 

The department have previously been asked to comment about the emergency evacuation route, however The Examiner was told the questions should be directed to the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale instead.