Major WA bushfire fans out of control

MajorWA bushfire fans out of control

5 February 2007

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Australia — A major bushfire burning near the town of Dwellingup, 100kilometres south of Perth, is fanning out of control and threatening the town ofCoolup.

Strong easterly winds have flared up a fire that has beenburning just six kilometres outside Dwellingup.

Fourteen homes have already been destroyed and manypeople have had to evacuate their homes.

Fourteen homes have already been destroyed and many people have had to evacuate their homes. (ABC TV)

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) says the fire is now dangerously close to Coolup.

The DEC says if people choose to leave their homes, they should do so early and report to the Coolup Hall, where an evacuation centre has been set up.

The State Emergency Service and police are notifying property owners south of Mills Road, north of Williamson Road and east of Mayfield and Brown Roads that they are in imminent danger of fire.

The DEC says strong easterly winds are fanning the blaze and the situation is changing quickly.

DEC fire services manager Rick Sneeuwjagt says this recent outbreak is causing concern for fire crews as part of the blaze heads towards homes.

“Fire authorities are trying to ensure that allcommunities and individual owners are alerted and make their plans,” hesaid.

“Because of the very difficulty of both the weatherand the conditions, it’s hard to know exactly where the fire front is.

“There are a lot of houses that could be threatenedtonight.”

Meanwhile, conditions are slowly improving in the Perthsouthern suburb of Forrestdale, where a fire that burned 350 hectares has beenthreatening homes this afternoon.

No properties have been destroyed and some roads in thearea are being reopened.

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