Emergency declared in WA bushfire zone

Emergency declared in WA bushfire zone

02 December 2011

published by www.skynews.com.au

Australia — An evacuation alert has been issued to properties in Western Australia’s southeast as a large bushfire closes in.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) has declared an emergency situation for the shires of Nannup and Augusta-Margaret River.

Residents east of Milyeannup Coast Road and south of Governor Broome Road, including Molloy Island and east Augusta, have already begun leaving their homes.

FESA says the blaze is contained, but if conditions worsen homes could be impacted on Friday night.

Locals have been warned they are in danger and must move quickly.

A relocation point has been set up at Augusta’s Centennial Hall on Allnutt Terrace.

The elderly and children evacuated on Thursday night and other residents began leaving on Friday afternoon, a Molloy property owner told AAP.

A recorded message for the Molloy Island Homeowners Association says the fire jumped containment lines at 11.15am (WST) on Friday and more home owners were in the process of evacuating.

Fire and Rescue Service firefighters are on standby on Molloy Island.

A type one helitac, up to six fixed wing water bombers and two aerial intelligence helicopters have also been sent to assist ground crews.

Three boats from the Augusta Volunteer Marine Rescue and Margaret River Volunteer Sea Rescue groups are also on stand-by at Augusta Town Jetty to evacuate people from East Augusta if necessary.

Meanwhile, an emergency warning remains in place for anyone within a 5km radius of the junction of Milyeannup Coast Road and Woodarburrup Road in the Shire of Nannup where a fire is burning out of control.

Two farm sheds have been destroyed so far with minor damage to one house and ancillary structures.

FESA says flames up to 5m high are racing through tea-tree and paperbark wetlands where access is limited due to boggy conditions.

More than 38,800 hectares have been blackened so far.

Some 80 career and volunteer Bush Fire Service, Department of Environment and Conservation, Nannup Shire and plantation industry firefighters are battling to strengthen containment lines.

They are back burning away from Milyeannup Coast Road.

Although firefighters are currently holding the fire within containment lines, conditions could deteriorate rapidly, FESA warns.

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