Total fire ban, nationals park close as WA braces for dangerous bushfire conditions

10 February 2019

Published by https://www.smh.com.au/


AUSTRALIA – Two major WA national parks will remain closed on Sunday due to severe fire danger.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advised both Serpentine National Park and Avon Valley National Park in Perth’s northeast would close until the danger rating had lowered.

Avon Valley was closed at 5pm on Saturday due to an escalating threat, and Serpentine National Park closed at 9.30am on Sunday morning.

“People are urged to avoid the area, follow the advice of parks and wildlife service staff and observe signage,” an alert reads.

“People already in the area should leave for a safer place.”

Both parks are due to reopen at 8.30am on Monday when the danger has passed.

Around the state the Avon, Ninghan, Mortlock, Lower West Inalnd, inland central coast, Inland Central West North, Gascoyne inland and Gascoyne coast areas have all registered a severe fire danger rating.

The Eucla region – located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of WA along the Eyre Highway – has registered a catastrophic rating.

A catastrophic rating means it is the worst possible conditions for a bush or grass fire, and once the fire begins, there is little chance of fighting it.

The closures come after a blaze in Forrestdale threatened homes, schools and businesses throughout Thursday and early on Friday.

The fire burnt through about 156 hectares before DFES firefighters were able to get on top of it, and the all clear was formally given on Friday afternoon.

Fire conditions have been exacerbated following a five-day heatwave in Perth, with temperatures forecast to reach about 36 degrees on Sunday.

The daily maximum has not dropped below 35 degrees, and the Bureau of Meteorology has referred to the event as a “low intensity heatwave”.

The weather is expected to ease on Monday when the trough begins to move inland from the coast.

A total fire ban remains active.