Australia — A fire is threatening lives and homes near Toodyay on the anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged the West Australian town last year.
Today, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) issued a “watch and act” warning after the fire, which began at 1.54pm, began burning in Morangup Nature Reserve near Toodyay Road, in the Toodyay shire, northeast of Perth.
FESA says embers are likely to be blown around homes and spot fires are starting up to 50m ahead of the fire, with some flames three metres high. Advertisement: Story continues below
The bushfire is moving slowly northeast at 300m per hour, FESA says. Authorities have advised there is a possible threat to lives and homes because weather conditions are changing.
FESA is telling residents to leave or get ready to ”actively defend” their property.
Several roads have already been closed including Toodyay Road at Fernie Road, Morangup Road at Toodyay Road and Morangup Road at Goonaring Road.
Last year’s Toodyay fire, which started on December 28, destroyed 38 homes and damaged an estimated 137 properties around the town.
Motorists are being urged to avoid the area.
The following roads have been closed –
* Toodyay Road at Fernie Road and Morangup Road * Toodyay Road at Jingalong Brook Road * Toodyay Road at Dryandra Road * Morangup Road at Goonaring Road
Meanwhile, holidaymakers and farmers at Donnelly River, in Western Australia’s South-West, are still under threat from a large bushfire that has burnt over 2500 hectares in the area.
The Department of Environment and Conservation has issued a “watch and act” alert for residents and people in holiday accommodation on the Donnelly River.
The fire is currently burning in D’Entrecasteaux National Park, between Ritter Road, Boat Landing Road, Cleave Road and Scott Road.
The fire has crossed Donnelly River.
“There is a possible threat to lives and homes as the fire has crossed the Donnelly River,” the alert said.
“For people other than those in the Donnelly River huts, you need to leave or get ready to actively defend.
“People staying in the Donnelly River huts and any other campers along the coast should seek refuge on the beach.
“People must not attempt to travel by boat back to Boat Landing Road.”
The fire started at 2.20pm and the headfire is now being held at Scott Road but, DEC officials fear it may break containment lines.
Firefighters are working on strengthening containment lines and protecting properties potentially under threat.
Department of Environment and Conservation firefighters from Manjimup, Albany, Dwellingup and Pemberton are at the scene.
Firefighters are being assisted by volunteer brigades from Manjimup, Nannup and Bridgetown including personnel from SES, FPC and local police.
Recreation sites in the national park have been closed and people staying in park accommodation have been directly contacted and advised to leave.
Road closures include:
* Scott Road * Cleave Road * Charley Road * Dunes Road * Pnuemonia Road * Jangardup Road * Black Point Road * Woodarburrup Road