It is the busiest time of the year for tourism operators in Western Australia’s South West, but business has been put on hold for many working in Boranup, where a bushfire has destroyed large swaths of the area’s unique forest.
However, firefighters have gained the upper hand over the blaze, managing to save Conto’s campground, along with other tourism attractions, including Giants and Mammoth caves.
On Friday night, fire crews secured the northern end of the fire ground and they spent Saturday tackling it from north to south, with a particular focus on the area around Caves Road.
An emergency warning was downgraded to watch and act on Saturday evening due to favourable conditions and the fire being contained.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Service’s duty Assistant Commissioner, Rick Curtis, said while people should avoid the fire zone, he would encourage holidaymakers to keep their weekend plans in the wider South West region.
‘We’ve got two fires and the conditions are becoming mild and we’re getting on top of the fires and we’ll manage them,’ he said earlier on Saturday. ‘What I don’t want is to deter tourism in the broader region. It’s really important that we support local business and local economy.’
WA Police said they believed the fire was deliberately lit near Mammoth Cave.
They appealed for public assistance, including any information of suspicious activity in the Mammoth Cave area on Wednesday, 8 December. They have also asked for dash-cam footage.
For more information, go to www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-11/margaret-river-fire-prompts-concern-from-tourism-operators/100691812