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Wooroloo bushfire: Emergency warning issued for fire in Beechina area

UPDATE 10PM: An emergency warning has been issued for an out-of-control bushfire east of Perth, with some residents being told it is now too late to leave.

Lives and homes are under threat from the out-of-control bushfire which is raging in Wooroloo, east of Perth.

More than 250 firefighters have been deployed to the fire front.

SES crews and local Government personnel are also on the ground assisting fire crews.

According to DFES, the fire is fast approaching the areas of Chidlow and Gidgegannup, with residents along Lilydale Road to Rosedale Road on a bushfire watch and act alert.

EMERGENCY WARNING ZONE

MUST CREDIT 7NEWS ONLINE OUT UNTIL AFTER 6PM gen wooroloo fire vision from the chopper
Camera IconAn aerial view of the Wooroloo blaze. Credit: 7NEWS/supplied

DFES says people in the area bounded by Government Road, Old Northam Road, Lilydale Road and Needham Road are in danger and need to act immediately to survive as there is a threat to lives and homes.

The bushfire is moving fast in a westerly direction, DFES is advising people to leave in a southerly direction to evacuate the area.

Homes along Jason Street are under immediate threat, according to DFES.

DFES have warned that for people living in Warrigal Estate it’s too late to leave, leaving now would be deadly. The area is now under immediate threat from the blaze.

MUST CREDIT 7NEWS ONLINE OUT UNTIL AFTER 6PM gen wooroloo fire vision from the chopper
Camera IconAn aerial view of the raging bushfire. Credit: 7NEWS/supplied

“You must shelter before the fire arrives, as the extreme heat will kill you well before the flames reach you,” DFES said in a statement.

“If your home catches on fire and the conditions inside become unbearable, you need to get out and go to an area that has already been burnt.”

Acting Superintendent for the South East said crews were desperately trying to save homes in the small development.

“We have substantial crews in the area – and we have (crews) in that development right now,” Acting Sup. Hamill said.

“We currently have 150 firefighters on scene, plus aviation. We’re setting up for success currently with our (fire) plan,” he said.

MUST CREDIT 7NEWS ONLINE OUT UNTIL AFTER 6PM gen wooroloo fire vision from the chopper
Camera IconA waterbomber drops retardant on the blaze. Credit: 7NEWS/supplied

Acting Sup. Hamill said there have been no reports of homes being lost in the area yet.

The fire is burning rapidly through Wooroloo regional park and surrounding areas.

Forge Farm Riding School in Chidlow is in the emergency area and has evacuated all of its horses. The 12.5-acre property offers trail rides and lessons in the Wooroloo and Chidlow area.

Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s first sanctuary – Karakamia – is also under threat with the 268ha property sitting inside both the emergency warning and watch and act areas between Chidlow and Gidgegannup.

The sanctuary protects Jarrah, Wandoo, and Marri woodlands and granite outcrops, with 23 types of mammals, 124 birds, 32 reptiles, and 240 plants located within it – including seven species of threatened wildlife and two species of threatened plants.

Wooroloo Bushfires 26 Dec 2021
Camera IconA chopper flies above the fire ground. Credit: Matt Jelonek/Matt Jelonek

“It is lucky there is no real wind forecast tonight but that’s not to say that won’t change,” she said.

“A wind shift could change everything. We are watching this closely.”

She said the emergency response was quicker than during the Wooroloo bushfires.

“To see the big plane in the sky is a big comfort for us but we are worried about the night time when they won’t have any planes in the air.

Wooroloo Bushfires 26 Dec 2021
Camera IconHuge amounts of smoke can be seen billowing from the Perth Hills. Credit: Matt Jelonek/Matt Jelonek

“This summer was always going to be intense with the amount of rain we had. The growth we have had has just been phenomenal and there is a high fuel load.”

One heavy waterbomber and two medium bomber’s are dumping water and fire retardant over the fire.

Two new DFES airtankers have been deployed to the area to help firefighters battle the blaze.

DFES has told residents to close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.

Those who can’t leave are being told to shelter in a room away from the fire front where they can easily escape from.

Residents in the area who aren’t at home have been advised to stay away as it is too dangerous to return.

An evacuation centre has opened for residents who have fled their homes at Mundaring Arena on Mundaring Weir Road.

WATCH AND ACT WARNING ZONE

gen wooroloo fire - bushfire, picture shot from the roof of the Double Tree Hilton at Elizabeth Quay
Camera IconThe smoke from the fire can be seen from the Perth CBD. Credit: Nic Ellis/supplied

ADVICE WARNING ZONE

An advice warning has been issued for residents between Rosedale Road and Stoneville Road in parts of Mount Helena and Stoneville.

DFES says there is no threat to lives and homes in the area but residents should stay up to date in case the situation changes.

A devastating fire ripped through the same region in February claiming 86 homes at a cost of $91 million.

During that blaze firefighters managed to save more than 200 homes after the fire was allegedly started by a property owner using an angle grinder near bushland.

The popular Lake Leschenaultia campgrounds has been closed until Thursday due to the severe fire danger rating, with the site set to be checked daily to make sure visitors, locals and emergency service personnel are not at risk.

The fire has burnt through 155 hectares of land since it sparked at 3.41pm.

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