Firefighters are battling an out-of-control bushfire that is threatening lives and homes northeast of Perth.
An emergency warning has been issued for people four kilometres east of Toodyay.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services says the fire is burning on both sides of Goomalling Toodyay Road with homes in the Whicklow Estate under direct threat.
Homes in the Dumbarton Estate are expected to be under threat around midday.
“You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive,” DFES said.
“The bushfire is out of control and unpredictable.”
About 100 career and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service firefighters are working to contain the fire, which was reported at 9.18am on Sunday has so far burned about 40 hectares.
Three helitacs and two fixed-wing water bombers have been sent to assist ground crews.
DFES says the bushfire is moving fast in a south-southeastern direction.
Residents in Toodyay, about 86km northeast of Perth, told AAP there was smoke in the township but they were pleased with the quick response from firefighters.
Shire president David Dow said the blaze was burning in a semi-rural and rural area but there were still hundreds of people living there.
“The fire is obviously very serious,” he told AAP.
“Everyone is just getting out at the moment.”
DFES has warned that if the way is clear, residents should leave now.
“Do not wait and see. Leaving at the last minute is deadly,“ DFES said.
Residents who plan to stay and actively defend their properties are warned not to rely on mains water pressure because it may be affected.
People have been told to leave in a western direction towards the Toodyay township.
Goomalling-Toodyay Road has been closed and motorists have been warned to avoid the area.
In December 2009, a bushfire destroyed 38 homes and damaged about 137 properties in Toodyay.
The warning comes as Perth expects a maximum of 41C and 43C is forecast for Northam.
WHAT TO DO
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advises residents:
• If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place.
• Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.
• If your plan is to stay and actively defend, do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. If you have access to a water tank and plan to defend your home, start patrolling with your hose and put out spot fires.
• If you cannot leave, you need to get ready to shelter in your home and actively defend it.
• If you are not at home, it is too dangerous now to return.
Your safest option may be to visit family or friends who live away from the area.
For further details contact Main Roads WA on 138 138.
Motorists should avoid the area and be aware of fire and emergency services personnel working on site.
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 1300 657 209 or listen to news bulletins.
Elsewhere in the State, the Bureau of Meteorology has upgraded the Fire Danger Rating for today from Very High to Severe for inland parts of the Great Southern. This is due to a change in weather conditions.
This includes the shires of Corrigin, Kondinin and Kulin. These are very hot, dry and windy conditions for a bush or grass fire.
The Bureau of Meteorology has upgraded the Fire Danger Rating for today from Very High to Severe for parts of the Central Wheatbelt. This is due to a change in weather conditions.
This includes the Shires of:
• Shire of Bruce Rock
• Shire of Dalwallinu
• Shire of Kellerberrin
• Shire of Koorda
• Shire of Merredin
• Shire of Mount Marshall
• Shire of Mukinbudin
• Shire of Narembeen
• Shire of Nungarin
• Shire of Trayning
• Shire of Westonia
• Shire of Wongan-Ballidu
• Shire of Yilgarn
The Fire Danger Rating for other parts of the Central Wheatbelt remains at severe for today.
This includes the Shires of:
• Shire of Beverley
• Shire of Cunderdin
• Shire of Dowerin
• Shire of Goomalling
• Shire of Northam
• Shire of Quairading
• Shire of Tammin
• Shire of Wyalkatchem
• Shire of York
These are very hot, dry and windy conditions for a bush or grass fire.