Today a number of Shire of Augusta Margaret River volunteer firefighters, Shire Rangers and other officers joined the Police and emergency services to attend a call out to a fire in Karridale on the property known as Mindful Earth.
The fire is suspected to have started from a faulty generator and spread through dry grass on the property, burning around 10 hectares.
One man who was at the property when the fire started sustained serious burns during initial attempts to extinguish the fire and was transported to hospital via helicopter to receive urgent medical attention.
Shire President Paula Cristoffanini shared her concern for the injured man’s wellbeing and thanked those involved with getting the fire under control and for providing medical assistance.
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with this person who has been tragically hurt,” she said.
“Thank you to all those who attended the scene today.
“Due to the quick thinking and actions of neighbours and the prompt response from brigades, the fire was extinguished on the boundary of a neighbouring property without causing significant damage to any building or adjoining property.
Today's incident takes place days before Mindful Earth’s property owner will go to trial for allegations of offences relating to the unapproved use of the property for events, as a camping ground and for unapproved structures on the site.
Ms Cristoffanini noted the sensitive timing of the impending trial date.
“Despite the tragedy this weekend I believe it’s in the public interest to press ahead with the trial as we want to prevent further incidents like this happening on the farm,” she said.
The Shire initially received complaints about illegal camping and events on the Mindful Earth site in January 2022.
Shire officers gathered evidence during several inspections in February and March of 2022, commencing two prosecutions against the owner of Mindful Earth in April 2022.
In May 2022 the property owner pleaded not guilty to those charges, then in June 2022 the matter was set down for trial to be heard this week on 15 and 16 February 2023.
Shire Rangers have taken the necessary actions to ensure that the property will be compliant with the directions issued under the Firebreak Notice.