The chief firefighter at Wooroloo has called on the community to help fire crews prevent another disaster like the bushfire which destroyed 86 homes earlier this year as firefighters face a long night at the scene.
Acting Superintendent for the South East Adrian Hamill is at the scene in Wooroloo and said over 150 firefighters are in the area battling the blaze in searing heat on Sunday night.
The bushfire started about 4pm near the intersection of Old Northam Road and Government Road in Beechina, as the mercury tipped to a sweltering 42C.
At 8.15pm, the fire was moving fast in a westerly direction, threatening lives and homes in the Wooroloo and Chidlow regions.
A small estate in the region is under immediate threat with its residents told it’s now too late for them to leave, and to shelter somewhere inside their home.
“Currently it’s impacting a development called Warrigal Developments. We have substantial crews in the area – we have (crews) in that development right now,” Mr Hamill said.
More than 150 firefighters are on the scene and aerial crews were dropping retardant on the blaze during the afternoon before being stood down by about 7pm.
Supt. Hamill said the crews were unable to drop water and fire retardant over houses in the estate because the smoke was too thick.
“We like people to follow Emergency WA and to adhere to the warnings. We have an emergency warning in place for that area (Warrigal Estates), and we have a watch and act in place for the surrounding areas.
“We have no report of losses at this stage, however, we do have crews actively fighting fires in that development currently.”
Mr Hamill has urged residents to follow the advice from firefighters on the ground and to evacuate where possible.
“We’ve already got people on the ground refusing to leave which complicates what we need to do,” he said.
“Now we need to put resources to combat those sort of situations. Sometimes it’s too late, but we need people to have a bushfire plan, and this is why.
“We really need the local community to work with us, adhere to Emergency WA and the alerts and warnings that are posted on there,” he said.
“I’m hoping with the triggers we have put in place and the resources we have here, with the current conditions and lighter winds…I’m confident that with everyone doing their job we will pull this up,” he said.
The region is still reeling from a bushfire in February that destroyed 86 homes.
That fire started on February 1 in shocking conditions and burned for several days, moving more than 26km and threatening homes in nearby suburbs, including Ellenbrook and The Vines.
The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the cost of that fire at $91 million.