Fire authorities have praised the work of those involved in containing the region’s first major blaze of the bushfire season, which burnt hundreds of hectares and forced evacuations of residents north-east of Albany last week. Lightning sparked a fire about 12:20pm on Wednesday in the western part of Kalgan which quickly became out of control and soon after an emergency-level warning was issued that lasted two hours. Four water bombers and more than 50 firefighters on the ground battled the blaze on Wednesday, which was fuelled by strong winds. Late on Wednesday night, that warning was downgraded to watch and act and then it was moved to advice level on Thursday. After several days of mopping up, the fire was given the all-clear on Monday morning, having burnt through the Bakers Junction Nature Reserve, private property, and parts of the Riverview Golf Club. The fire, managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, burnt about 475ha, including power poles and fencing but the efforts of firefighters prevented any buildings or structures being lost. DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service district manager Jeremy Friend said crews did a terrific job in containing the fire that had potential to cause a lot more damage. “To get it under control in the time frame was a really good effort by all involved,” Mr Friend said. “It did have the potential but paddocks had plenty of green pasture and that also helped reduce the size of the fire. “It is a timely reminder that -people should be prepared. “We greatly appreciated the assistance from our volunteer firefighters, the prompt response from all the agencies involved, and the broader community for adhering to the advice and avoiding the areas and roads that were closed so we could do our job.” Residents in the area bounded by Bakers Junction Nature Reserve to the north, Mead Road to the east, Bon Accord and Prideaux Roads to the south, and Chester Pass Road to the west were under red alert on Wednesday afternoon. Water bombers were used until dark on Wednesday and the Parks and Wildlife Service, Career Fire and Rescue Service, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service, and Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services firefighters were on the ground. “We had bushfire brigades from the City of Albany and Shire of Denmark involved,” Mr Friend said. “There was the full range of resources used to fight the fire as it was contained and controlled. “There was no damage to buildings, there were a number of power poles and fencing that was lost and there were some pockets of vegetation on the fairways of the golf course as well. “The evacuation centre was opened up and then closed down later but we are sure there were people that took the advice and got out.” Mr Friend said cool, mild conditions had helped with the mopping-up process. The fire started near the intersection of South Coast Highway and Mead Road. South Coast Highway and Chester Pass Road were two of the main roads closed during the peak of the fire.