Bushfires remain a threat in WA

Tim Dornin
·2-min read

A bushfire emergency warning has been issued for communities in the West Australian shires of Gingin and Dandaragan north of Perth, with residents warned their lives and homes are under threat.

The new warning follows an easing of fire danger earlier on Monday after a string of fires threatened WA communities, one forcing the evacuation of a nursing home.

High temperatures and strong winds fanned the flames with blazes reported to the north and south of Perth, on the state's southwest coast and in the Goldfields.

Monday evening's new emergency warning from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) covers parts of Regans Ford, Red Gully, Cowalla, Moore River National Park, Nilgen, Mimegarra, Karakin, Yathroo, Orange Springs, Lancelin and Ledge Point.

"You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes," the warning said.

Residents have been told the quick-moving fire was out of control and unpredictable and if the way was clear they should leave for a safer place.

"If you cannot leave, you need to get ready to shelter in your home."

Earlier on Monday emergency warnings were in place for at least two blazes, one at Kwinana on Perth's southern outskirts and another further south at Rockingham.

A fire at Gosnells, in the city's southeast, forced authorities to move 150 nursing home residents to a nearby evacuation centre on Sunday night.

That blaze was quickly brought under control with most of the residents allowed to return.

About 50 remained at the evacuation centre overnight but were expected to return to their homes on Monday.

One residential unit at the facility was totally destroyed, but was not occupied at the time, while another six had superficial damage.

At one stage the blaze at Kwinana spread to a rubbish tip at Medina, raising concerns over toxic fumes.

About 120 firefighters remained on the fireground with the dump expected to burn for at least another day or two.

DFES Deputy Commissioner Craig Waters said with temperatures expected to hit the high 30s later this week, there were concerns for more incidents.

"Whenever you come into a period of really hot weather coupled with extremely high easterly winds, we're always going to be in for a world of hurt," he said.

The weekend fires also prompted the first deployment this summer of a large air tanker brought over from the eastern states.

It made three significant drops, including one on the Kwinana blaze.