The Shire of Narrogin has thanked regulatory body Building and Energy for its investigation into the 2022 Narrogin-Wickepin bushfire following news that charges have been laid against Western Power over alleged safety breaches that sparked the Wheatbelt inferno. “We commend Building and Energy for their diligent investigation and enforcement efforts,” Shire of Narrogin president Leigh Ballard said. “The Shire of Narrogin understands the profound impact that incidents of this nature have on our community, our farmers affected and the environment.” The 2022 bushfire tore through about 18,000ha of land east of Narrogin destroying property, bushland and livestock and threatening the town of Wickepin. The fire started after power line conductors came into contact and arced, causing dry grass below to catch fire. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety announced on August 16 that Building and Energy had commenced proceedings against Western Power over alleged breaches of Electricity (Network Safety) Regulations 2015. The regulations cover the safety of network design, construction, operation and maintenance. The case is listed for mention in Narrogin Magistrates Court on August 22 and the Shire of Narrogin said proceedings “will provide an opportunity to address the alleged breaches and determine the appropriate course of action moving forward”. “As the legal proceedings unfold, we anticipate a thorough examination of the evidence and a just resolution to address the impacts of this devastating bushfire,” Mr Ballard said. The development comes after the Shire of Narrogin announced on August 15 it had received a $200,000 grant from the State Government’s mitigation activity fund grants program to undertake bushfire mitigation projects in the region. In a joint statement released by the Shire, Mr Ballard and volunteer chief bushfire control officer Pip Porter thanked DFES for its support in securing the grant. “Following on from the horrendous bushfires we experienced in February 2022, we understand the significance of timely action in mitigating bushfire risks,” the statement said. In the wake of the Narrogin-Wickepin bushfire, Western Power produced a plan to reduce the risk posed by power lines in its network like the ones that started the Wheatbelt blaze. The plan was given by the power company to the Director of Energy Safety.