Residents in several suburbs in southern Perth were warned to “act immediately to survive,” while others climbed after being told it was “too late to leave” on a dramatic night that saw an area control a roar of fire.
The fire was reported around 2.30pm local time on Tuesday afternoon and escalated into the night with about 60 firefighters battling the blaze, aided by air bombs as the blaze approached homes, aided by strong winds.
Authorities said the fire was unpredictable and warned residents not to stand in its way. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
The warning applies to the area bounded by Lyon Road, Gibbs Road, Beenyup Road, Freycinet Circuit and Cape Range Crescent in Aubin Grove and Banjup in Cockburn.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) issued updated emergency alerts overnight with the message: “You are in danger and must act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes. “
It was too late for people in homes on and near the Prosperity Loop to leave, and residents were forced to fend for themselves.
“If you’re not home, it’s too dangerous to go back.”
The fire is spreading in a northeasterly direction. It is not contained or controlled.
Authorities have advised residents of the area to “take shelter in your home in a room away from the fire and ensure you can easily escape.”
“You have to take shelter before the fire arrives, because the great heat will kill you even before the flames reach you.
“Close all doors and windows and turn off the evaporating air conditioners, but if possible, keep the water flowing through the system.
“Choose a room with two exits and water, such as a kitchen or laundry room.”
DFES told shocked residents to protect themselves by wearing long sleeves and pants made of cotton or wool and strong leather boots.
They said a burning ember was likely to blow around the property.
“If your home catches fire and the conditions in it become unbearable, you have to get out and go to an area that has already burned down.”
Meanwhile, a guard and fire is in force for people in the area bounded by Lyon Road, Goodwill Ave, Beenyup Road and Gibbs Road in Atwell, Cockburn.
The Watch and Act was also in force in the nearby town of Atwell. The level of fire warnings has been reduced, but authorities have continued to warn “there is a possible threat to lives and homes as the fire approaches the area and conditions change”.
“If you’re not ready or planning to leave, leave immediately if the road is clear,” DFES advised residents in the area bounded by Lyon Road, Goodwill Ave, Beenyup Road and Gibbs Road.
“If you are well prepared and if you plan to actively defend your home, make the final preparations immediately.
“If you plan to stay and actively defend yourself, don’t rely on network water pressure because it can be affected.
“You have to have access to an independent water supply and start patrolling your property to put out the fire.”
It was a battle on two fronts for firefighters on Tuesday after another blaze forced families to evacuate a theme park and ice arena during the school holidays.
The “crowded” Adventure World and Cockburn Ice Arena in Lake Bibra were evacuated during an accident Tuesday afternoon, which caught fire just before 1pm on Tuesday and raged towards the park boundary.
The fire was later lowered to alert, and Adventure World said it would open on Wednesday according to schedule.
DFES said the fire was suppressed and controlled and there was no threat to lives or homes.
CLOSURE AND ROAD CONDITIONS
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and emergency personnel working on site.
A number of roads have been closed, including:
- Aubin Grove connection near Lyon Road
- Rt Le Grand Ave.
- The loop of prosperity
- The bond of holiness
- The Gibbs Road off the Kwinana Highway has reopened.
Drivers are asked to avoid the area, reduce speed and drive carefully because of the smoke.
Visit urgent.wa.gov.au or call 13 DFES (13 3337) for more details.