The West

Jen Wolfe checks the burn. Picture: Clare Alcock

Volunteer firefighters have travelled by plane and boat to the former Aboriginal community of Oombulgurri to protect what is left of the town from fire this summer.

The State Government closed the troubled East Kimberley community, 50km from Wyndham, in December.

The closure came after it was revealed annual wages totalling more than $300,000 were being paid to keep two police officers and two nurses at the community which was home to as few as five people.

Oombulgurri's community store and school had already closed when the community's remaining residents were told to leave.

Wyndham Volunteer Emergency Services second-in-command Brendon Fielder said there had been no maintenance or fire prevention work around the government infrastructure, housing or the town site.

"We were requested to conduct a perimeter burn of the town site to protect this infrastructure from the threat of wildfires," he said.

Ten volunteers from the Wyndham VES spent two days conducting the burn last month, giving them an opportunity to train in unfamiliar territory.

"Back-burning in the East Kimberley can always present different challenges," Mr Fielder said.

"This burn in particular went in our favour as the weather and wind conditions were perfect, for both officer safety and effectiveness of the burn."

Brendon Fielder and Jen Wolfe watch over the burn near the abandoned Oombulgurri community. Picture: Clare Alcock
The West Australian

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