Australia — THE threat from this afternoon’s bushfire emergency in Perth’s south has lessened, but homes are still under possible threat as crews battle two blazes just 4km apart.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has downgraded its emergency alert to a watch and act for the bigger of the two fires – in Leda, Calista and Medina in the Kwinana area.
Tonight, the medium-level alert remains for people west of Medina Avenue in Medina, west of Calista Avenue in Calista and the northern part of Leda in the City of Kwinana.
There is a possible threat to lives and homes as they are approaching the area and conditions are changing. People need to leave or get ready to actively defend.
The fire is contained but not controlled.
A bushfire advice warning was tonight in place for the second blaze, affecting people in Kwinana Beach, east of Rockingham Road and Patterson Road to the railway line.
The fire is bounded by Thomas Road, Abercombie Road, Hope Valley Road and Rockingham Road in Kwinana Beach and Naval Base in the City of Kwinana.
The fire started in bushland north of Thomas Road near Ratcliffe Road.
DFES believes the now small controllable blaze was deliberately lit.
The cause of the bigger fire is unknown at this stage.
Although there is no immediate threat, people should stay alert for any updates.
In regards to the Leda, Calista and Medina blaze, a wind change saw the fire shift to a north westerly direction this afternoon. The fire is now burning towards Mandurah Road. Eighty five firefighters are battling the blaze.
A second out of control fire has been sparked nearby, prompting another evacuation plea.
A watch and act alert has been issued for people in an area bounded by Thomas Road, Abercombie Road, Hope Valley Road and Rockingham Road in Kwinana Beach and Naval Base in the City of Kwinana.
The fire started in bushland north of Thomas Road near Ratcliffe Road. It is burning towards Rockingham Road.
The Kwinana Golf Club has also reportedly been evacuated.
The sense of urgency was heightened because the fire is close to the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline. A DFES spokesman said fire crews were doing their best to protect that asset.
The fire started between Gentle Road and Wellard Road. It is burning towards the Kwinana Golf Club.
Burning embers are likely to be blown around your home. Spot fires are starting up to 50m ahead of the fire.
About 49 hectares have been burnt.
Locals watch as fire edges closer
Residents along Porter Gardens in Leda have lined up in front of Sloan’s Reserve watching as smoke comes closer to houses.
Martin Montgomery, who lives on Porter Gardens, said it was the first time in years that Sloan’s reserve has been on fire.
“I’d say there is a fire bug about because there was a fire here last night that they put out really quickly,” Mr Montgomery said.
Mr Montgomery said he was unsure if he would stay and defend or evacuate. But he said his family evacuated the home about three hours ago.
Anthony O’Bree has lived in Kwinana for 14 years and his house is about 1km away from the fire.
“I’ll fight, I’ll even come down and help people out,” he said.
“I’ve had a couple of mates evacuate from Medina.”
Eighty five career and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service firefighters from 20 stations and brigades are on the scene, and aerial support has been sent to assist ground crews.
A temporary evacuation centre has been set up at the Kwinana Town Council building on the corner of Sulphur Road and Gilmore Avenue in Kwinana.
Text and voice messages have been sent to people in the area warning them of the danger.
The cause of the fire, reported at about 12.30pm, is unknown.
WHAT TO DO:
If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear.
There is ember attack ahead of the fire, so close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.
If you are well prepared and plan to actively defend your home, make final preparations now.
Do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. If you have access to a water tank and plan to defend your home, start patrolling with your hose and put out spot fires.
If you are not at home, do not try to return as conditions in the area could be very dangerous.
If you live in the eastern part of Calista or Leda leave in a northerly direction. Do not travel along Wellard Road between Gilmore Avenue and Mandurah Road.
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
A number of roads have been closed including:
Vehicle control points have been set up along Mandurah Road at the following locations: