Timeline of the Yanchep bushfire part two

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In 2019 firefighters worked hard to extinguish the December 11 Yanchep bushfire but it was close to Christmas before an all clear was given. Picture: Anita McInnes

THIS is the part two of the timeline of the December 2019 Yanchep bushfire.

Part two includes when the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said the Yanchep bushfire was controlled but not contained, when the bushfire was controlled and contained and when the bushfire alert was downgraded.

It also includes the date the department announced an all clear for the bushfire.

The alert said firefighters were still mopping up, patrolling the area and monitoring the situation, which probably continued for some days afterwards.

A timeline of the Yanchep bushfire part one finished with a DFES alert at 11.19am on December 15, which said fire movement had eased overnight but the threat remained due to activity within the fireground and forecast weather conditions meant there was still a high risk of flare ups through the day.

They also expected the wind direction to change from north to south early in the afternoon which would test containment lines.

This meant homes in the Guilderton, Redfield Park, Sovereign Hill, Woodridge and Neergabby remained under threat.

There were also a lot of fire damaged trees alight in and around the fire ground which posed a risk to residents and firefighters.

By 7.52pm on December 15 in 2019 Woodridge and Seatrees and Breakwater estates were still under emergency warning and 11,834ha had been burnt with 300 firefighters still on the scene.

The following roads remain closed – Wanneroo Rd-Indian Ocean Dr between Pipidinny Rd and Gingin Brook Rd (open for people to leave only), Breakwater Dr between Mayflower Pde and Indian Ocean Dr and Yanchep Beach Rd between Parkland Rd and Indian Ocean Dr while Indian Ocean Dr was open to local traffic only between Gingin Brook Rd and KW Rd.

Yanchep National Park and Wilbinga Conservation Park and adjacent state forest remained closed.

Two Rocks, Yanchep Lagoon and Yanchep Beach primary schools and Yanchep Secondary College remained closed on December 16.

At 11.35pm DFES said 12,845ha had been burnt and 300 firefighters were still on the scene.

At 12.32am on Monday, December 16 DFES said the bushfire was controlled but not contained.

At that time the bushfire was stationary but the threat remained due to activity within the fireground.

DFES said forecast weather conditions meant there was still a high risk of flare ups as winds strengthened and changed direction.

Also smouldering pockets remained south of Woodridge.

At 5.31am on December 16 DFES said Wilbinga, Eglinton and Woodridge had joined Seatrees and Breakwater estates on emergency alert.

By 10.59am on December 16 a bushfire emergency warning had also been issued for people in the localities of Caraban.

(At the same time a new alert – a bushfire advice – was issued for parts of Bambun in the Shire of Gingin for people near Brand Hwy between Ioppolo Rd and Cockram Rd for a fire, which started near the intersection of Brand Hwy and Airfield Rd in Bambun.)

At 1.06pm on December 16 DFES said access to emergency warning areas was prohibited and that people were advised not to use local roads to access the fire ground as the area was dangerous and posed a risk to their safety.

As a bushfire emergency warning remained in place for Woodridge, Seatrees and Breakwater estates the following roads remained closed – Breakwater Dr between Mayflower Pde and Indian Ocean Dr, Yanchep Beach Rd between Parkland Rd and Indian Ocean Dr, Indian Ocean Dr between Gingin Brook Rd and Pipidinny Rd and Old Yanchep Rd between Indian Ocean Dr and Cutler Rd.

(Also Brand Hwy remained closed between Honeycomb Rd and Muchea South Rd.)

At 3.30pm on December 16 about 300 firefighters were still consolidating and strengthening containment lines of the Yanchep bushfire, checking roads and mopping up while residents were being reminded to stay out of burnt areas as affected grounds were still smouldering and falling tree branches posed a safety risk.

Residents were also asked to stay away from walk and bridle trails and strategic firebreaks as access to those areas would only be allowed once hazards had been assessed and managed.

By 4.08pm the bushfire emergency warning for Woodridge, Seatrees and Breakwater estates remained.

(At that stage Brand Hwy had one lane open between Airfield Rd and Breera Rd but by 5.10pm Brand Hwy was open in both directions.)

Old Yanchep Rd between Indian Ocean Dr and Cutler Rd had opened to traffic by 6.40pm.

An alert at 8.51pm said the Yanchep bushfire had been downgraded and there was a bushfire watch and act for Woodridge, Seatrees and Breakwater estates.

DFES said the bushfire was contained and controlled but smouldering and unburnt pockets remained within the fireground.

The bushfire was stationary with winds to ease overnight.

By 10.44pm the following roads remain closed – Breakwater Dr between Oregano Dr and Indian Ocean Dr, Breakwater Dr east of Mayflower Pde (only open to local traffic), Yanchep Beach Rd between Parkland Rd and Indian Ocean Dr and Indian Ocean Dr between Gingin Brook Rd and Military Rd.

But Wanneroo Rd north of Pipidinny Rd and Indian Ocean Dr south of Military Rd had been re-opened.

At 8.03am on December 17 DFES said people were not able to return to their properties due to emergency services personnel working in the area to make it safe.

At this stage the alert was a bushfire advice for Guilderton, Gabbadah, Eglinton, Sovereign Hill, Redfield Park, Yanchep, Two Rocks, Neergabby, Caraban, Wilbinga, Woodridge, Seatrees and Breakwater estates.

By 12.39pm Woodridge residents were being told they could now return to the area.

The following roads remained closed – Breakwater Dr between Oregano Dr and Indian Ocean Dr, Breakwater Dr east of Mayflower Pde (only open to local traffic with no access to Indian Ocean Dr) and Yanchep Beach Rd between Parkland Rd and Indian Ocean Dr.

Indian Ocean Dr was now open between Gingin Brook Rd and Military Rd.

At 2.08pm DFES said Yanchep National Park would re-open on Wednesday December 18 but all walk trails would remain closed until further notice.

Wilbinga conservation park and adjacent state forest remained closed.

There were still risks posed by burning trees and falling branches, as well as smouldering, unburnt pockets within the fireground.

People were advised to stay away and to not walk on ground that had been burnt.

DFES asked people returning home to obey road closures, drive slowly and watch out for emergency services working on site.

By 4.01pm on December 18 DFES said a bushfire advice was in place for Guilderton, Gabbadah, Eglinton, Sovereign Hill, Redfield Park, Yanchep, Two Rocks, Neergabby, Caraban, Wilbinga, Woodridge, Seatrees and Breakwater estates.

The following roads remained closed – Breakwater Dr between Oregano Dr and Indian Ocean Dr and Breakwater Dr east of Mayflower Pde (only open to local traffic, with no access to Indian Ocean Dr).

Yanchep Beach Rd between Parkland Rd and Indian Ocean Dr was now open to traffic.

Breakwater Dr had been re-opened by 5.38pm.

At 3.52pm on December 23 when DFES announced an all clear for the Yanchep bushfire the alert said firefighters were still mopping up, patrolling the area and monitoring the situation.

  • Both timelines focus on the emergency warnings and not the watch and act or bushfire advice alerts.