During a major fire that engulfed areas of south west WA in January 2016, ChemCentre assisted Department of Fire and Emergency Services by modelling potentially toxic plumes that could have resulted had the fire impacted the industrial area near Kemerton, 25km north of Bunbury.
The scale and intensity of the fire made it extremely difficult to control. Almost 70,000 hectares was burnt, with a perimeter that at one stage was almost 400 kilometres long. The scenario planning recognised issues associated with bulk chemical storage in the area, and while buffer zones and firebreaks were in place, worst case scenarios were modelled to assist emergency services with planning contingencies.
The concerns were centred on bulk storage of chlorine, oxygen, hydrochloric acid and titanium tetrachloride across several sites. Due to the outstanding work of DFES and the volunteers, the fire was brought under control before it reached the areas of concern. ChemCentre often contributes to this type of work, essential to ensuring the safety and prosperity of our state.