Caravan park set to re-open after close call

Dale and Katie Exon, the dedicated managers of the Grampians Edge Caravan Park, recently faced a harrowing experience as wildfires threatened their beloved tourist haven.

Fortunately, their quick thinking and resilience helped safeguard the park and its guests.

Tiny Houses and a Close Call

The Exons have poured their hearts into the Grampians Edge Caravan Park, enhancing it over the years with a collection of charming tiny houses for adventurous travellers.

Last Tuesday, as flames licked the horizon, Dale and Katie found themselves in a dual role: ensuring the safety of their own young children and assisting the caravan park guests in evacuating promptly.

While Katie took their preschool-age kids to safety in Stawell, Dale stood his ground at the park. He activated the sprinklers on the lush lawns surrounding the park’s entrance, a desperate measure to halt the fire’s advance. The relentless 50km/h westerly winds pushed the flames perilously close to the park’s boundary.

Firefighters to the Rescue

Firefighters valiantly battled the encroaching inferno, successfully defending the Grampians Edge Caravan Park. Luck was on their side, and the park emerged unscathed. Dale expressed immense gratitude, saying, “We were very lucky.”

Misinformation and Reassurance

In the aftermath of the fire, social media buzzed with misinformation, falsely claiming that the Dadswells Bridge village lay in ruins. Dale, determined to set the record straight, assured visitors that the caravan park would reopen by the weekend.

His optimism extended to other local businesses, which also escaped harm and were now back in operation.

“We’ve been running around all week, and the park looks as good as ever,” Dale said. The pool, however, required water replacement — a minor inconvenience compared to the potential devastation they narrowly avoided.

Phone Coverage Woes

Dale highlighted a pressing issue faced by Dadswells Bridge: insufficient phone coverage.

While the caravan park boasts satellite internet for guests, the lack of reliable phone service during the fire underscored the community’s vulnerability. Some residents received emergency SMS warnings, but others remained in the dark.

“If one good thing comes out of the fire, it might be that we have some upgrades to the mobile coverage here.”

Perhaps adversity would pave the way for progress in communication infrastructure.

As the Grampians Edge Caravan Park prepares to welcome guests once more, the Exons remain steadfast, their commitment to safety and hospitality undiminished.

Visitors can rest assured — the park stands resilient, ready to embrace travellers.

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