Australia — LIVES and homes are in danger from a bushfire burning out of control east of Perth.
An emergency warning has been issued for people four kilometres east of Toodyay.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services says the fire is burning on both sides of Goomalling Toodyay Road with homes in the Whicklow Estate under direct threat.
Homes in the Dumbarton Estate are expected to be under threat around midday (WST).
“You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive,” DFES said.
“The bushfire is out of control and unpredictable.” About 100 career and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service firefighters are working to contain the fire, which was reported at 9.18am on Sunday has so far burned about 40 hectares.
Three helitacs and two fixed-wing water bombers have been sent to assist ground crews.
DFES says the bushfire is moving fast in a south-southeastern direction.
Residents in Toodyay, about 86km northeast of Perth, told AAP there was smoke in the township but they were pleased with the quick response from firefighters.
Shire president David Dow said the blaze was burning in a semi-rural and rural area but there were still hundreds of people living there.
“The fire is obviously very serious,” he told AAP.
“Everyone is just getting out at the moment.” DFES has warned that if the way is clear, residents should leave now.
“Do not wait and see. Leaving at the last minute is deadly,” DFES said.
Residents who plan to stay and actively defend their properties are warned not to rely on mains water pressure because it may be affected.
People have been told to leave in a western direction towards the Toodyay township.
Goomalling-Toodyay Road has been closed and motorists have been warned to avoid the area.
In December 2009, a bushfire caused by a fallen power pole destroyed 38 homes and damaged about 137 properties in Toodyay.