Australia — At least 20 homes have been ravaged by fire as firefighters continue to battle an out-of-control blaze near Margaret River. However a local has estimated at least 35 homes may have been destroyed.
Residents in the area have been forced to stay and defend their homes as it was deemed too late to escape the raging inferno.
Sky News reports about 200 people are camped at Prevelly beach after they were forced to flee their homes.
Another 50 are at a temporary evacuation centre in Margaret River.
According to Augusta-Margaret River Shire Deputy Fire Chief, David Holland, the bushfire has been contained but not controlled.
He said fire containment lines will be strengthened to cope with expected flare ups overnight.
The fire is currently moving in a south-easterly direction and is reducing with the majority of south and east boundaries of the fire being tracked according to the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Fire and Emergency Services has issued a warning to residents in the Kilcarnup, Prevelly and Wilderness subdivisions and the area north of Wallcliffe Rd and east of Caves Rd in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
Houses in the area are currently being damaged by fire and residents must stay and defend their properties.
Meanwhile DEC has scheduled a press conference for 9.30am today.
According to some fire was sparked earlier this morning as a result of DEC prescribed burning in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
However, another source has said the fire was a flare up of a controlled burn which was started by DEC on November 10 and that the heat and wind yesterday started it back up again
The Fire and Emergency Services Authority said it was likely 1000 hectares had been burnt in the blaze.
There have been unconfirmed reports the Ellen Brook homestead has been damaged in the fire.
Anyone who needs to travel in the area should first check the Department of Environment and Conservation website, www.dec.wa.gov.au, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of WA website, www.fesa.wa.gov.au or call 1300 657 209 for more detailed and current information about the fire.