Waroona, south of Perth, was issued with an emergency bushfire warning yesterday night as authorities believe that lives and homes of the residents were at a serious risk. According to Benson Todd from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the alarming fire was started by a lightning strike at Lane Pool Reserve.
This fire is moving fast and has burnt 11,000 hectares already. Benson told The New Daily that strong winds of 40 to 60 kilometres-an-hour have fanned the fire overnight and pushed it towards Waroona already.
According to information offered by the DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) on their website, the blaze has now hit both the sides of the South Western highway, and the bushfire warning includes Preston Beach shire in Waroona, Alcoa mine site and other nearby properties.
Citizens from Waroona, residing in areas such as Willowdale Road, Johnston Road, Forrest Highway, Dorsett Road, Williamson Road, Mayfield Road and Nanga Brook Road are at bushfire risk.
According to the DFES website, it is too late for those staying on the east of South Western Highway and in Preston Beach to leave. Leaving now may be deadly. These residents are asked to seek shelter in their homes and actively defend them. But those on the west of the highway have been advised to leave in a westerly direction if they feel it is safe to do so.
The website has also recommended people to go to a room away from the fire front where they can easily escape if needed; or choose a room with two exits and water such as a kitchen or laundry.
If that is not possible, residents can go to a safer place such as local open space, shed, swimming pool, dam or building to seek shelter. An evacuation centre has already been established at Murray Leisure Centre, 16 Camp Road, Pinjarra, and a second one at Harvey Recreation Centre, Young Street, Harvey.
Firefighters are working hard to evacuate the residents of Waroona and the fire is taking up huge reserves from the DFES as well as Department of Parks and Wildlife. According to ABC, around 20 firefighting trucks and 40 appliances are already fighting hard to control the blaze and there is a possibility of aerial water bombers to be used to help extinguish it.