Although we love living in our uniquely forested hills, it comes with a price! There is the constant threat of fire, especially during the summer months. It is not unusual to hear sirens blasting as our local volunteer fire fighters race to put out fires and keep them from re-igniting. If you live along the Darling Scarp it is imperative to be bush fire ready. This means clearing your land, cleaning gutters and being on constant watch for impending fire.
Wood stacked next to the Weir waiting to be used for various purposes
The population of the Shire has increased to nearly 40,000 people and with this increase in population, more pressure is put onto local fire brigades. Fire has been a part of our lifestyle since the beginnings of the Shire. Fire was an essential ingredient of life. It was used to cook meals, to create hot water for heating, washing and lighting. Farmers used fire to clear their land, blacksmiths for horsehoes, sawmillers for driving their mills. Fire was used to produce steam for the trains that chugged up and down the hill. It was used to start the water from the Goldfields Water Supply on its 600 klm journey to Kalgoorlie.
More firewood getting stacked ready for use for the pipeline
Although WA has paid Firefighters, it relies heavily on the unpaid Volunteer Fire Fighters. Without these wonderful men and women, the fires that have ravaged our hills over the years, would have had more devastating outcomes.
Popular local nightspot The Log Cabin burning down in 1926
In 2011 Author Ian Duckham wrote the history of the Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades in the Shire of Mundaring. With funding made possible by grants procured by the Mundaring and Hills Historical Society
and support from the Shire of Mundaring, this book was published. It is available for sale, however, all new members of local brigades are given a copy when they sign up as a volunteer. Spare a thought for our local "Vollies". They are tireless in fighting fires in their own area, and then they are often deployed to other areas which are experiencing bushfires. Not only in our State, they have been sent all over Australia to help fight fires.
In 2009 a fundraiser for the local brigades was held which involved the auctioning of painted fire helmets.
Some of the helmets were painted by local artists and others were painted by random contributors.