Huge blaze heads for Coral Bay

Huge blaze heads for Coral Bay

19 January 2009

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Australia — Bushfires continue to burn throughout WA’s south as well as the North-West tourist area of Shark Bay.

A bushfire has broken out in the Bridgetown area, 270km south of Perth, just 10km northwest of last weekend’s massive blaze, which claimed three homes and burnt through almost 6000 hectares of bushland.

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) says the blaze is in steep country and burning through Forest Products Commission pine plantations.

Lightning strikes have sparked a number of fires in the South-West of the state.

Nine have been reported in the Mundaring-Dwellingup area-  35-100km southeast of Perth – and another has broken out in the Gnangara Pines area, northeast of Perth.

Fire crews are working to contain a fire in the Blackwood valley between Balingup and Nannup.

A fire which began near the Blackwood River earlier this afternoon has burnt through 365 hectares of bushland.  The fire has now jumped the river and is burning in the Ferndale and Lewana pine plantations.

The DEC said it has dispatched 16 trucks and six earth-moving machines from Bridgetown where crews were mopping up following a fire over the weekend.

The Ferndale-Lewana fire is heading north-west and is expected to cross the river to the north of Wrights Bridge recreation area.

That area and the Lewana cottages were evacuated by Police earlier this afternoon.

The Balingup-Nannup Road has been closed.

Hay Road west of Southampton Road and Southampton Road is closed between Hay Road and Spring Gully Road.

The Kirup-Cundinup Road also is closed.

Elsewhere DEC has also responded to two more fires near the York road turnoff at the Lakes along Great Eastern Highway east of Mundaring.

In the far north of the state, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) is still fighting fires at Zuytdorp, Gnaraloo and Hamlin in the Shark Bay region, 850km from the state capital.

Residents and tourists at Warroora Station and Coral Bay, 120km south of Exmouth, were told earlier on Monday to activate their bushfire plans.

Motorists are warned to take extreme care when driving between Carnarvon and Exmouth. If encountering smoke on the roads, they should slow right down, turn their headlights on and follow the directions of emergency services personnel.

FESA said the Gnaraloo-Quobba road would be closed until further notice.

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