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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Bushfire near Perth destroys 30 homes as firefighters struggle to contain the out-of-control blaze

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A bushfire raging near Perth has destroyed more than 30 homes as hot and windy conditions fan the out-of-control blaze towards the city’s north-eastern suburbs.

More than 250 firefighters have been battling the blaze since Monday after it flared up at Wooroloo near the Perth Hills.

An emergency warning is now in place for more than a dozen suburbs on the Western Australian capital’s outer fringe as the flames are fanned westwards.  

Residents living in those areas have been told they are in danger and must act immediately to save their lives.

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A bushfire raging near Perth has destroyed more than 30 homes as hot and windy conditions fan the out-of-control blaze after sparking at Wooroloo near the Perth Hills on Monday

A bushfire raging near Perth has destroyed more than 30 homes as hot and windy conditions fan the out-of-control blaze after sparking at Wooroloo near the Perth Hills on Monday

Pictured is a destroyed home at Wooroloo. More than 250 firefighters are now battling the out-of-control blaze

Pictured is a destroyed home at Wooroloo. More than 250 firefighters are now battling the out-of-control blaze

Pictured: The fire at Wooroloo last night. An emergency warning is now in place for more than a dozen suburbs on the Western Australian capital's outer fringe

Pictured: The fire at Wooroloo last night. An emergency warning is now in place for more than a dozen suburbs on the Western Australian capital’s outer fringe

Those areas are The Vines, Bailup, Ellenbrook, Gidgegannup, Milledon, Walyunga National Park, Upper Swan, Aveley, Avon Valley National Park, Red Hill, Belhus, Baskerville, Herne Hill, Bullsbrook, Wooroloo and Brigadoon. 

Those living along the firefront – a roughly 30km stretch of bushland between Ellenbrook and Wooroloo – have been told it is too late to leave.

All others areas covered under the emergency warning have been told to evacuate now if the roads heading into the city are clear. 

The Mayor of the City of Swan said more than 30 homes appear to have been lost to the fire.

Western Australia DFES spokesman Superintendent Peter Sutton said the flames could soon start moving further south-westwards into Perth’s outer suburbs including Parkerville and West Swan.

Residents living in far-western areas of Perth have been told they are in danger and must act immediately to save their lives. Map of fire area is pictured

Residents living in far-western areas of Perth have been told they are in danger and must act immediately to save their lives. Map of fire area is pictured

‘The conditions have been very testing with erratic fire behaviour,’ he told PerthNow.

‘We have a number of properties lost. Our rapid damage assessment team is working on that. But there is no known loss of life.’ 

Temperatures are expected to reach 37C on Tuesday with hot easterly winds with gusts up to 65 km/h forecast for the hills area until the afternoon. 

Residents as far away as 40km in the coastal suburb of Sorrento were reporting ash landing at their homes. 

Pictured: The fire at Wooroloo - where the fire began on Monday. The blaze there is still burning at an Emergency Warning level

Pictured: The fire at Wooroloo – where the fire began on Monday. The blaze there is still burning at an Emergency Warning level

WA BUSHFIRES – what you need to know 

EMERGENCY WARNING areas are: The Vines, Bailup, Ellenbrook, Gidgegannup, Milledon, Walyunga National Park, Upper Swan, Aveley, Avon Valley National Park, Red Hill, Belhus, Baskerville, Herne Hill, Bullsbrook, Wooroloo and Brigadoon 

 

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‘I reckon I’m at least 20-30km from the bushfires and there is ash raining down outside,’ one resident near Dianella said. 

Jenni Stanton, 59, received a text about 2am telling her to evacuate from her home at The Vines, west of Walyunga National Park.

But she and her husband decided to stay put, saying the roads out of the semi-rural suburb in Perth’s north were bumper-to-bumper with traffic.

‘The fire has jumped the Great Northern Highway west of Walyunga, so it’s closer to us now but there’s isn’t as much smoke as last night,’ she said.

‘The yard is covered in ash though, and we can hear the water bombers.’

Neighbour Melissa Stahl, 49, received the same text.

‘I could smell the fire and went out the back and the whole yard was filled with smoke,’ she said.

‘My husband Michael said we better go.

‘We grabbed bedding, photos, the two kids and the dog and got out of there.’

They fled to a friend’s home where they’re now waiting for a text giving them the all-clear to return to their home.

Meanwhile, surrounding areas including Parkerville, Ellenbrook, Chidlow and Jane Brook have been told to leave if they are not prepared to fight the blaze.

Pictured: The view of the bushfire on Monday night from Perth's outer suburbs. Residents as far away as 40km in the coastal suburb of Sorrento were reporting ash landing at their homes on Tuesday

Pictured: The view of the bushfire on Monday night from Perth’s outer suburbs. Residents as far away as 40km in the coastal suburb of Sorrento were reporting ash landing at their homes on Tuesday

Emergency fire vehicles are seen heading towards the firefront in Perth  on Tuesday

Emergency fire vehicles are seen heading towards the firefront in Perth  on Tuesday 

Police talk to residents trying to return to their properties at a road block on the Great Northern Highway on Tuesday

Police talk to residents trying to return to their properties at a road block on the Great Northern Highway on Tuesday

The bushfire is unpredictable and weather conditions are rapidly changing, the warning said, urging people to stay vigilant.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

DFES Superintendent Peter Sutton said about 250 firefighters had been battling erratic fire behaviour.

A road block on the Great Northern Highway. Authorities have warned weather conditions are rapidly changing in the Perth Hills region on Tuesday

A road block on the Great Northern Highway. Authorities have warned weather conditions are rapidly changing in the Perth Hills region on Tuesday

‘It has made it very hard, near on impossible … to suppress this fire,’ he told the ABC.

An evacuation centre has been set up at Brown Park Recreation Complex on Amherst Road in Swan View.

DFES said anyone forced to leave their homes should wear a mask and continue to follow social distancing precautions to comply with Western Australia’s current COVID-19 health regulations.

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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