Politics

Western Australia residents flee as bushfires bear down on towns


Bushfires are bearing down on the towns of Bridgetown and Denmark in Western Australia and homes are feared lost as the state braces for another day of hot and windy conditions.

The ABC reported more than 150 firefighters were battling the fires on Sunday, with nearly 5,000 hectares burnt.

No property losses have yet been confirmed, but hot temperatures and unpredictable winds threaten to worsen the situation.

Residents of Hester, a small town west of the Margaret River, were told it was too late to evacuate. “It’s too late to leave, leaving now would be deadly,” Emergency WA said in a warning issued at about 8am local time on Sunday.

Aerial support has been sent to assist ground crews and police, and Senior Executive Service officers and ambulance personnel are also in attendance.

Western Power said about 2,500 customers in the southwest and great southern regions were without power on Sunday due to the bushfire.

Locals from those other areas have been warned it is too dangerous to return to their houses.

People living in nearby towns of Shadforth, William Bay, Scottsdale, Parryville, Ocean Beach, Kentdale and Kordabup have been told to evacuate the area immediately if they have not done so already.

“Variable wind behaviour continues to bring unpredictable fire conditions to the area,” WA Emergency said.

An evacuation centre has been set up at the basketball stadium in Manjimup, about three hours south of Perth.

People required to quarantine due to Covid-19 have been asked to make other arrangements, but if that is not possible, they can still head to the centre and notify staff when they arrive.

WA premier Mark McGowan on Saturday said multiple areas in the state continue to face “dangerous bushfire conditions with more hot weather forecast today and tomorrow”.

The premier thanked firefighters for their efforts over the week, and urged the public to follow advice from Emergency WA.

A number of bushfire advice warnings are in place across the state, with WA Emergency warning there is no threat to lives or homes at this stage. – Guardian, Associated Press



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