Chilling warning as out-of-control bushfire 'destroys 30 homes'

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

About 30 homes have been destroyed as an out-of-control bushfire continues to rip through Perth鈥檚 southeastern outskirts.

There are fears the fire will burn through further suburban dwellings, with many locals now told it is too late to leave.

The 6000-hectare blaze - which has a 60km perimeter - raged through the night near the town of Wooroloo, with the shires of Mundaring, Chittering, Northam, and the City of Swan impacted.

One property ablaze in the fire. Source: Nine
One property ablaze in the fire. Source: Nine

"You must shelter before the fire arrives, as the extreme heat will kill you well before the flames reach you," the latest warning from Western Australia's Department of Fire and Emergency Services said.

Swan mayor Kevin Bailey said it was unclear at this stage the exact number of homes lost but set it was in the vicinity of 30.

The changing weather conditions, including strong easterly winds, have proven disastrous for about 250 firefighters tackling the erratic blaze.

"It has made it very hard, near on impossible ... to suppress this fire," DFES Superintendent Peter Sutton told the ABC.

DFES said anyone forced to leave their homes should wear a mask and continue to follow social distancing precautions to comply with Western Australia's current COVID-19 health regulations.

Residents reveal bushfire horror

Jenni Stanton, 59, received a text about 2am telling her to evacuate from her home at The Vines, west of Walyunga National Park.

But she and her husband decided to stay put, saying the roads out of the semi-rural suburb in Perth's north were bumper-to-bumper with traffic.

"The fire has jumped the Great Northern Highway west of Walyunga, so it's closer to us now but there's isn't as much smoke as last night," she told AAP.

Emergency vehicles block a road heading towards the fire. Source: AAP
Emergency vehicles block a road heading towards the fire. Source: AAP

"The yard is covered in ash though, and we can hear the water bombers."

Neighbour Melissa Stahl, 49, received the same text.

"I could smell the fire and went out the back and the whole yard was filled with smoke," she said.

"My husband Michael said we better go.

"We grabbed bedding, photos, the two kids and the dog and got out of there."

They fled to a friend's home where they're now waiting for a text giving them the all-clear to return to their home.

Meanwhile, surrounding areas including Parkerville, Ellenbrook, Chidlow and Jane Brook have been told to leave if they are not prepared to fight the blaze.

With AAP

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