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Slater and Gordon is investigating the legal rights of people impacted by the Yarloop Fire

As part of these investigations, we are offering initial advice at no cost to those affected.

The devastating blaze in January 2016 ripped through 69,000 hectares across the Shires of Waroona and Harvey and the town of Yarloop, destroying 181 residential properties and businesses along with a number of sheds and farm buildings. Tragically two people lost their lives in the fire and a Western Power employee was killed while working to bring back power to the area.

We are exploring avenues to recover compensation for uninsured losses that property owners, residents and business owners may have suffered. These include losses arising from damaged or destroyed property, changes in property values, business interruptions and other costs, inconvenience and loss of amenity. From our experience, many who had insurance will find their policies do not offer full coverage for their personal and property losses. The Special Inquiry Report released on 23 June 2016 estimates economic losses of $155 million. 

The Report, titled Reframing Rural Fire Management, points to key failures by authorities including:

  • A failure to provide timely or accurate warnings in particular to the town of Yarloop.
  • A failure to make a decision at an earlier point in time to escalate the fire status and bring in the Bush Firefighter Brigade to replace Parks and Wildlife staff.
  • A lack of appreciation of the evening downslope winds (also known as the “katabatic winds”) that wreaked havoc on Yarloop during the night of 7 January 2016.
  • An underestimation of the threat to the towns of Yarloop and Cookernup and delay in dispatching the additional resources, which had been requested, until it was too late to save the town of Yarloop.

Next Steps

Although it is early days for each investigation, the sooner you obtain advice, the better protected your rights to claim compensation will be.

Seeking advice from us about your legal position does not obligate you to participate in any legal action that may be taken. If a legal action is to proceed (including by way of class action), we will provide services on a No Win No Fee* basis. Under a No Win No Fee* Agreement, Slater and Gordon can only charge you for its professional services if a successful result is obtained from the legal representation.

Any person impacted by the fire who is interested in further information should contact Slater and Gordon on 1800 555 777 or by email: elaine.arcaro@slatergordon.com.au

*Conditions apply