Esperance fires saw more than 200 DFES staff support volunteer efforts

Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan visited the Incident Control Centre on Brazier Street in March 2019. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan visited the Incident Control Centre on Brazier Street in March 2019. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

More than 200 Department of Fire and Emergency Service helped local and interstate volunteers fight fires in Esperance earlier this year.

The fires burnt about 400,000 hectares north and east of Esperance in late February and early March.

MLC Stephen Dawson, representing Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan, outlined the estimated cost to DFES in parliament on May 14.

A total of 73 DFES personnel actively fought the fires.

A total of 99 DFES staff were based in Esperance during the fires. In addition, a total of 115 assisted firefighters from the city in the State Operations Centre and Metropolitan Operations Centre during the fires.

Some of the staff were working in Perth and were then deployed to Esperance or Albany.

Mr Dawson said DFES did not directly attribute costs per incident and said these staff were working on incidents across the state during the Esperance fires.

He said costs calculated above DFES' base budget were $12,679 for firefighting appliances and vehicles, $736,757 for aircraft, $840,634 for earthmoving machinery and $10,889 for other equipment.

This adds up to $1,600,959. Other costs such as meals, accommodation and travel totalled $131,165.45.

This only represents the additional costs to DFES and doesn't include costs to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction or to the Shire of Esperance.