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Cyclone Alby – memories of the 1978 Western Australian storm and bushfire crisis is now available for purchase.

This book is a Bushfire Front publication, with all proceeds being directed towards getting bushfire management in Western Australia back on the rails.

The anatomy of the storm is described, the state of preparedness analysed, the devastating consequences are set out and the question is posed: “What if another Cyclone Alby strikes southern WA – how will we fare?

At the heart of the book are memoirs collected from people who were there at the time: the firefighters, farmers, foresters, ambos, nurses, school bus drivers, policemen, timber workers, orchardists, fishermen, wives and children. The stories are dramatic and exciting, often heart-breaking and poignant, even in one or two instances humorous. They speak of the courage, resilience, toughness and selflessness of rural West Australians. You will feel proud to read these stories and you will recognise many of the people who wrote them.

The book has a number of lessons. Although in 1978 we were well-prepared in many ways for a bushfire crisis, we were not expecting bushfires driven by cyclonic winds over many hours, or a fire ground that encompassed the entire south-west and most of the Great Southern. Wonderful work was done, and on the whole, systems held up. But tactical errors were made …. and over the intervening years many of the lessons learned from Cyclone Alby need to be relearned. We hope that the State’s bushfire authorities also read the book, and take notes.

Roger Underwood

Click on the pdf icon (below) to view / download the flyer and order form.

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