Australia — Residentsat the Porongorup townsite have been told to prepare to defend their propertiesor evacuate immediately after a bushfire in the Porongorup National Park escapedcontainment lines and started moving towards the town.
The fire escaped the containment line immediately east of townsite andcrossed the Mount Barker Porongurup Road earlier this afternoon. Firefightersare concerned it may threaten properties at the Porongurup townsite and nearbyresidences.
Welfare centres are being set up at the Mount Barker town hall for thoseresidents evacuating homes to the west of the Porongurup townsite.
Fire authorities advised residents to the east of the Mount Barker PorongurupRoad who were planning to evacuate to go to the senior citizens centre on GreyStreet, Albany.
People going to evacuation centres should ensure that they register at thecentre when they arrive. Enquiries in relation to welfare centres can bereferred to 98410 777.
Residents are advised that conditions are changing rapidly and to be aware of further updates. A community update and fire map has been posted on Department for Environment and Conservations website, www.naturebase.net.
The DEC said the Porongorup blaze broke out on Sunday on private property next to the Porongorup National Park and raced across farmland into the reserve.
Early this morning, a farmer suffered third degree burns trying to outrun the blaze in his car.
Police said the farmer, who has not yet been named, crashed his car just after midnight and suffered burns to his feet, legs and arms.
He was flown to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment.
The DEC said it expected the fire to burn about 1500ha of bush before it wasfully contained.
Meanwhile, Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke has officially revoked abushfire emergency period he declared on February 5, banning fires in WA’s southwithout his permission.
The ban was introduced after a woman died fleeing a bushfire and 16 houseswere destroyed as hundreds of fires raved large areas in late January and earlyFebruary.
The minister said on Monday a reward of up to $200,000 was still on offer forinformation leading to a conviction for arson committed during the emergencybushfire period.