Perth Fire threatens homes, properties; emergency warning issued

By @shauryaarya1 on
Bushfire
A firefighter stands among embers as teams battle to prevent a flare up of a bushfire that burnt several houses and threatened vineyards in Somerset West, near Cape Town, South Africa January 4, 2017. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

As many as 100 firefighters are attempting to contain a bushfire that continues to burn through Upper Swan, in Perth’s northeast.

An emergency warning has been issued for people in Great Northern Highway, Copley Road, St Albans Road, the Swan River and surrounding areas in the southern and eastern parts of Upper Swan in the City of Swan.

Strong winds are enabling the fire, which started last night, to spread to a larger area. The blaze is moving towards homes in Swan, threatening properties on Copley, St Albans Road and Coondaree Parade.

As many as 100 firefighters are now involved in containing the fire. "There certainly were properties under threat overnight in Copley Road but firefighters worked hard overnight to reduce the threat to those properties," a spokesman from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said on Monday.

Perth will likely experience a maximum temperature of 35 degrees. People have been warned to evacuate their homes immediately.

The fire is expanding towards the west. Currently, it has blazed through 13 hectares of bushland. Burning embers are likely to spread as a result of winds. Spot fires are beginning up to 150 metres ahead of the fire. As reported by Perth Now, the winds will likely change course – from easterly to east north – at 9AM. This could cause the fire to push back onto itself, helping crews in its containment.

Trying to tackle the fire has been difficult, according to DFES spokesman Allen Gale. "The fire has been really difficult to deal with overnight because of the change in winds," Gale said. "It's been pretty bad, it's settled down a bit now that it has been pushed along by easterly winds back towards Great Northern Highway.”

Great Northern Highway between West Swan Road and Warbrook Road was shuttered as a result of the massive fire, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Those driving were urged to avoid the area and maintain caution.

A temporary evacuation centre has been established by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support at Altone Park Leisure Centre at 332 Benara Road in Beechboro.

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