Homes at Karloo were threatened by a serious bushfire on Monday.
First reported near John Willcock College at 1pm, it burned out more than 20 hectares of bush as firefighters from Geraldton Fire and Rescue Service, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and the Moonyoonooka Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade battled the blaze.
Pushed by a strong southerly wind, the flames advanced quickly and firefighters had to extinguish spot fires, which were started by flying embers in front and back yards of several properties.
Police closed off access to parts of Karloo as the suburb was shrouded under a heavy blanket of smoke, yet several motorists tried to drive around the road blocks.
As dusk fell and firefighters began to gain control of the blaze, they were hampered by groups of children, some appearing to be as young three years old, running along firebreaks in the heavy smoke.
Cause of the fire was unknown, but chief bushfire control officer Andy Darbyshire said a major factor in controlling it was recent work on firebreaks in the area.
"Sand track breaks and mulched breaks, created by slashing vegetation, were a big help and proved their value," said Mr Darbyshire.
"We are still in our most dangerous bushfire period and can only keep our fingers crossed from now on."