The power of social media was on display during the Bertram bushfire, with word spreading quickly as residents took to Facebook, Twitter and chat sites to share information about the fire.
Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams was tweeting from Johnson Road when she joined concerned residents and helped spread the message online.
“I didn’t go on the social media as ‘mayor’ I went on as Carol Adams ‘resident’ but I think in those kinds of situations communication is the key and it’s really about keeping people informed,” she said.
“Because council is closed over the Christmas period I just felt it was important for people to know things.
“People are curious and they know there’s smoke around the area and the helicopters so I just wanted them to know what was going on.”
Cr Adams found out about the fire after logging on to Kwinana Chat after spotting the smoke from her home in Homestead Ridge.
After speaking with Kwinana councillor and Bertram resident Peter Feasey as well as the duty ranger she made the decision to head to Johnson Road about 3.30pm.
“By then the fire was coming down Johnson Road and residents were lining up on either side of the street and there was a road block in place,” she said.
“Just when it seemed to be under control it would just flare up again and it really gave me a first-hand appreciation of the value of our emergency services; they did a fantastic job.
“In the meantime I was getting confused phone calls from people around the area because they didn’t know what was going on so that’s why we were posting on Kwinana Chat and on Twitter as well.”