The life of late Albany firefighter Wendy Elizabeth Bearfoot was celebrated by about 500 people at Allambie Park Cemetery today.
Mrs Bearfoot died in Royal Perth Hospital on November 1 after suffering burns to 76 per cent of her body while helping to control a bushfire at Two Peoples Bay on October 12.
The 45-year-old was described as a “tenacious” team leader at the Department of Environment and Conservation Albany office, someone who had been passionate about the environment since a child, when she would rescue stray animals – and sometimes “rescue” neighbours’ pets as well.
Mrs Bearfoot leaves behind husband Garry and sons Steve, Geoffrey and Joshua, who acted as pallbearers at the graveside funeral.
“I’m going to miss her every day, but if she was here, she would tell me to harden … up,” Garry Bearfoot said amid laughs.
Mrs Bearfoot left school at age 15 to help support her family, while also studying with the DEC.
Her colleagues said they would miss her leadership and friendship at the Albany office.
A cortege of firefighting vehicles started the day’s commemorations, which included a flyover from a DEC firefighting aircraft and a contingent of more than 100 DEC and local volunteer firefighters.
DEC, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Worksafe, City of Albany and the police are investigating the incident at Two Peoples Bay, in which Mrs Bearfoot and five of her colleagues were caught by the fire in a sudden wind change.