Firefighters who tackled the 2011 Margaret River bushfires have voiced their concern about the potential for an identical blaze due to the lack of fuel controls along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste scarp. In social media posts commemorating last month’s 10-year anniversary when two controlled burns escaped confinement to tear across the coast, jumping the Margaret River and destroying more than 50 properties, veteran firefighters said the risks of another disaster were as present as 2011. The comments come as Wallcliffe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade noted fresh callouts for fires lit by residents without the required permits. Former Wallcliffe captain Greg West, a long-serving brigade member, said he felt “safe from destructive fire” for five years, but no longer. “Ten years later I feel that the risk is back to its pre-2011 level,” he said. “There have been some improvements to fire response capability; more aircraft, more firetrucks. “However, as firefighters know, a big fire burning under adverse conditions in high fuel loads will do as it pleases until the conditions change.” Mr West noted the destruction caused by bushfires directly related to the vulnerability of community assets. “I am not convinced that landowners and asset managers have been able to adopt the changes to land use practices required to reduce the risk from bushfires,” Mr West said. “The 2011 bushfire provided us with some lessons. Have we learnt, adapted and adopted enough? I don’t think so. I hope I’m wrong.” In response to Times inquiries, lead agency Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, said they continued working co-operatively. A DBCA spokesperson said during the past five years, it ran 10 burns “within 8km of the Margaret River community” of 1330ha in total. The agency declined to identify any work undertaken in the area burnt in 2011. “The coastal heath in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park that was impacted in 2011 has recovered over the past 10 years,” the spokesperson said. “DBCA continues to work closely with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, volunteer bushfire brigades and DFES staff to identify and treat bushfire risks in and around Margaret River.” Shire community emergency services manager Adam Jasper said “bushfire is a shared responsibility”. A State Government Mitigation Activity Fund grant of $497,500 would pay for treatments, including hazard-reduction burns and mechanical work according to the Shire’s Bush Fire Risk Management Plan. The Times understands much of the land affected in 2011 was under DBCA control. Last week, DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm warned this year’s bushfire season forecast an “above-average risk” for the South West.