Residents in parts of Esperance have been forced to evacuate because of a bushfire threatening homes.
UPDATE: At least one home has been damaged by a bushfire which burned out of control in Esperance on Western Australia’s south coast this afternoon.
In its latest alert at 7.25pm, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services downgraded the fire danger level to a watch and act for people between Sanctuary Crescent, Dunkley Circuit, Helms Drive, Eleven Mile Beach Road, Spencer Road and Keenan Road in Pink Lake and for Monjingup in the Shire of Esperance.
The fire burning between Spencer Road and Keenan Road had been brought under control but there was still a possible danger to lives and homes.
Esperance shire president Malcolm Heasman said one property had suffered internal damage to its roof.
“And obviously there will be internal damage from water and one thing or another, but essentially, the house is standing,” Mr Heasman told ABC radio.
“That’s good news.
“It’s the only one we’ve come across so far.
“There have been damaged outbuildings and loss of some machinery and what have you, but I must say it is a very bleak sight looking out over the undulating scrub.”
Mr Heasman said Eleven Mille Beach Road, where the fire commenced, “looks like a devastation zone”.
So far, about 500 hectares have burnt since the fire was reported around 12.30pm.
Eleven Mile Beach Road between Keenan Road and Helms Drive remained closed at 8pm and motorists wereadvised to avoid the area.
Students at Esperance Primary School and Esperance Senior High school had a number of buses cancelled as a result of the blaze. They were kept at the school until parents are able to pick them up.
Firefighters are also mopping up after a suspicious blaze about 10km away in Sinclair.
A bushfire 'all clear' has been issued for people south of Pink Lake Road in an area bounded by Pink Lake Road, Johns Street, Springfield Street and Freeman Street.
The fire was reported about 11am and burnt through about 15 hectares of bush before it was brought under control by 30 firefighters and two water bombers.