Wheatbelt fires: Babakin Primary School set to reopen for the first time in a week as fire risk subsides

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Cally DupeCountryman
The last of five Wheatbelt schools closed after serious bushfire tore through the region and destroyed 60,000ha of WA’s agricultural heartland will reopen on Monday. 
Camera IconThe last of five Wheatbelt schools closed after serious bushfire tore through the region and destroyed 60,000ha of WA’s agricultural heartland will reopen on Monday.  Credit: StockSnap/Pixabay (user StockSnap)

The last of five Wheatbelt schools closed after serious bushfire tore through the region, destroying 60,000ha of WA’s agricultural heartland, will reopen on Monday.

Babakin Primary was one of four schools closed due to the fires last week.

The locality — between Bruce Rock and Corrigin — was smack bang in the middle of an Emergency Warning put in place by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services on Sunday.

DFES further downgraded the warning to a Watch and Act on Monday and further downgraded it to a Bushfire Advice on Wednesday, but it was still too dangerous for students and staff at Babakin Primary to return to school.

Wickepin and Kondinin primary schools and Corrigin and Kulin District High Schools reopened on Wednesday after being closed for two days.

The Department of Education released at statement at 7pm on Sunday to say Babakin Primary School would reopen on Monday morning.

“The staff are very much looking forward to welcoming the students back into the school,” the statement said.

The blaze affecting Babakin started in Shackleton and — along with a separate blaze that started between Narrogin and Wickepin — tore through about 60,000ha of farmland and bush.

A bushfire advice is still in place for parts of Corrigin, Ardath, Wamanusking, and Babakin in the Shires of Corrigin, Bruce Rock, Kondinin and Narembeen.

This includes people bounded by Morell Road, Gill Road, Lomas N Road, Stones Road, Simpson Road, Pannell Road, Copestakes Road, Billbarin-Quairading Road and Dry Well Road.

It also includes people bounded by Bendering Road, Gnerkadilling Road, Bendering Road, Bendering Hall Road, Billericay Road, Pleass Road, Martin Road, Babakin SE Road, Bruce Rock-Corrigin Road, Robinson Road, Babakin N Road, Eujinyn S Road, Ardath W Road, Carger Road, Shackleton Bilbarin Road, Walton Road and Babakin Corrigin Road.

While there is low fire activity within containment lines and no threat to lives and homes, those in or travelling through the areas have been urged to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.

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