Statement by DEC Director General: Albany bushfire incident
- Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:17
It is with great sadness that I inform the Western Australian community of the death of our DEC colleague, Wendy Bearfoot.
Tragically, the significant injuries Wendy sustained on 12 October at the bushfire near Albany were too great to overcome. Wendy is survived by her husband Garry, sons Steve, Geoffrey, Josh, and extended family.
On behalf of DEC, I offer my sincere condolences to Wendy’s family, loved ones, friends and workmates. The department also thanks the many medical staff, from Albany to Perth, and firefighters who did so much to aid Wendy in her time of need. In particular, I would like to thank St John Ambulance, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, staff at Albany and Royal Perth hospitals, WA Police, and firefighters from DEC, the Forest Products Commission, the City of Albany, volunteer brigades and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
Wendy joined the then Department of Conservation and Land Management in 2003 as an Indigenous Land Management Trainee and successfully progressed through the roles of conservation employee, national park ranger and most recently overseer in the Albany District office. She loved the work she did and was highly valued and respected by all who knew her and had the privilege to work alongside her.
The department has been overwhelmed with messages of support from the public. At such a difficult time these messages have meant an enormous amount to all of us.
This is a difficult period of grief and reflection for all WA firefighters and I ask that you honour Wendy’s courage in protecting the community and land she loved from bushfire.
WA Police, Albany Detectives and the Arson Squad are investigating the fire and a report will now be prepared for the Coroner, while a Major Incident Review involving DEC, DFES and the City of Albany is under way. A WorkSafe investigation is also being conducted.
Information about funeral arrangements will be available in coming days.
Media contact: DEC Media 6467 5555