Firefighters are desperately attempting to save homes and businesses from an out of control bushfire raging in Perth’s southern suburbs this afternoon.
Windy and hot conditions have given career and volunteer fire crews no respite with the blaze setting several out-buildings, trucks and machinery alight and coming within metres of homes.
Kwinana Freeway between Mortimer and Anketell Roads is now closed.
A threat to lives and homes remains in place for residents in Oakford, Casuarina, Banjup, Hammond Park, Forrestdale, Wandi, Wellard, Anketell and Oldbury.
The emergency warning is for people in an area bounded by Rowley Road, Kwinana Freeway, Mortimer Road, King Road, Thomas Road and Nicholson Road.
The bushfire is moving quickly in a north-west direction and is out of control and unpredictable.
Evacuation centres have been set up at Briggs Park Pavilion on the corner of Mead Street and Gordin Way in Byford, and Kwinana Recquatic on the corner of Skerne Street and Robbos Way in Kwinana.
More than 150 firefighters are on the scene and water bombers are providing aerial support.
DFES district officer Russell Wells said up to 150 fire crews and 50 fire appliances would be working well into the evening fighting the fire.
“Crews will definitely be here into the evening,” he said. “We are definitely going to be here overnight and into tomorrow I would say and possibly for the next few days.
“There’s certainly some challenging conditions ahead. The broader outlook for the next four days is going to give us some concerns.”
Mr Wells said the fire could very quickly double in size.
“It’s a developing situation,” he said, adding that the wind conditions was making back burning very difficult.
“At the moment the focus is on protecting life and property,” he said.
WHAT TO DO:
· Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.
· Close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.
· If you cannot leave, you need to get ready to shelter in your home.
· Go to a room in your home away from the fire front and make sure you can easily escape.
· Choose a room with two exits and water such as a kitchen or laundry.
· If you are not at home, it’s too dangerous to return.
· Anketell Road from Kwinana Freeway to Thomas Road
· Thomas Road from Anketell Road to Bombay Boulevard
· Tuart Road from Anketell Road to Thomas Road
· Cumming Road between Orton Road and Thomas Road
· King Road between Orton Road and Thomas Road