At a DFES briefing this morning, Greg Mair, the Deputy Incident Controller for the bushfires east of Lancelin, confirmed that Lancelin was never closed to travellers over the last week or so.
Four days ago on this page, DFES commented on more than one post that Lancelin WAS closed to incoming travellers but people could depart Lancelin. Naturally this created confusion as there was never any checking of vehicles entering town, no motorists were ever turned away and there was no road signage stating Lancelin was closed. So to the motoring public who failed to monitor the internet, it was business as usual.
Unfortunately these conflicting messages resulted in many people cancelling their visits to town and many in town chose to leave. The Australian newspaper even reported that the Lancelin township was being evacuated. It never happened.
All this resulted in a huge hit to local businesses and many local residents were being bombarded with calls and messages from concerned friends and families outside the area asking about their safety having seen conflicting reports.
Even the Woolworths trucks decided they would cancel deliveries based on conflicting information.
As it stands now DFES is looking into how this mixup occurred.
On the matter of Ocean Farms and Seaview Estate, at present locals don’t need a pass to enter or leave these estates. BUT, there are still traffic controllers at the entrances as they are contracted until Tuesday and in the event the fires flare up again they will be in a position to take quick action.
As it stands now, locals can just drive past the “Road Closed” signs and go about their business. If you don’t have business on those roads the authorities are asking you not to use them.