The West

UPDATE 5pm: A man has died defending his home from a devastating bushfire in the Perth Hills which may have destroyed more than a dozen homes today.

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Parkerville fire


At 12.51pm a man collapsed on the roof of his house in Hovea. A St John Ambulance spokesman said officers responded to the emergency but could not get access to the roof.

"Despite assistance from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in getting onto the roof, the man passed away at the scene," a St John spokesman said.

Hundreds of Hills residents gathered at the Mundaring Recreation Centre to hear news about their properties but many did not learn the fate of their homes because the Department of Fire and Emergency Services was still assessing the damage.

Anxious Hills residents gathered for a community meeting at the Mundaring Rec Centre. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Another meeting was to start at Brown Park in Swan View at 7.30pm.

The devastating bushfire could have destroyed more than 20 houses, according to estimates from fleeing residents.

Despite the efforts of dozens of firefighters and helitac helicopters in atrocious conditions, properties near Parkerville and Stoneville were razed by the fast-moving fire.

One Chidlow resident said he was leaving most of his possessions to the flames.

"There are embers coming down like an ash. We are getting the hell out of here," he told ABC Radio.

"We are taking the animals, some clothes and the tax files in a box and we are leaving everything else. If it burns, it doesn't matter."

Helitac tackles the Parkerville bushfire. Picture: Josh Tucker

More than 100 firefighters and 50 vehicles remained on the scene late on Sunday, and waterbombers were deployed to battle the blaze.

Burning embers were being blown around homes and spot fires were starting up to 3.5km ahead of the fire, the department said.

At least two firefighters have been treated for heat exhaustion.

St John Ambulance officers also treated a 74-year-old Pickering Brook man who complained of chest pains and a man who fell through the roof of his house in Stoneville. Both were taken to Royal Perth Hospital.

The department confirmed property had been lost but not how many buildings or what type.

An emergency evacuation centre at the Mundaring Recreation Ground is full of people fleeing the bushfire and emergency workers are advising people to go to Brown Park in Swan View.

Mundaring Shire president Helen Dullard said they were setting up to have people staying in emergency conditions for days, with Salvation Army volunteers on hand.

“We have got food and accommodation well taken care of, and there will be people staying overnight and not just one night,” Ms Dullard said.

“But we are still in an emergency stage.

“Some are finding out by friends, and because their friends’ houses have gone, then theirs has gone. Some aren’t sure.

“They are anxious to get home as soon as they can, but are having to wait and that is very difficult for them.”

The blaze in the hills were the worst of a horror day for WA fire authorities, who battled blazes in Wanneroo, Boddington, Denmark, Gosnells, Shark Bay and Baldivis.

The fires came after two successive days of 40 degrees in Perth and an oppressive heatwave in the northern part of the State all week.

The Parkerville blaze is among several in Perth as temperatures sat above 40C. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

The Parkerville bushfire, which is moving fast in an easterly direction, crossed Stoneville and Richardson roads.

It is out of control and unpredictable. A number of roads have been closed, including Stoneville Road from Jarrah Road to Grenville Road.

Scorched earth: At 1.30pm the Parkerville fire had burned 120ha. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian
DFES reports the Parkerville fire were as high as 20m. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Burning embers are likely to be blown around your home.

Spot fires are starting up to 3.5km ahead of the fire.

Flames are 20m high.

Just before noon on Sunday, residents in the eastern part of Mundaring were told to leave their homes immediately.

Less than 30 minutes later, locals were told it was too late to leave, as it could be deadly if they did.

At 1.30pm, more than 120ha had been burnt.

The fire started between Johnson Road and Granite Road.

Take emergency action now - what to do

There are two warnings current for the same fire.

For residents safe to leave:
• If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place.
• Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.
• There is ember attack ahead of the fire, so close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.
• If you leave, flag you have gone with a green bag weighted down at thefront of your driveway.
• 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.

When advice says it is not safe to leave:
• It is too late to leave, leaving now would be deadly.
• You need to shelter in your home and actively defend it.
• Go to a room away from the fire front and make sure you can easily escape.
• Choose a room with two exits and water such as a kitchen or laundry.
• You must shelter before the fire arrives, as the extreme heat will kill you well before the flames reach you.
• Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and trousers, made from cotton or wool, and strong leather boots.
• If your home catches on fire and the conditions inside become unbearable, you need to get out and go to an area that has already been burnt.

Parkerville blaze from the air. Picture: Amelia Broun/Twitter
A helitac at work at the Parkerville fire. Picture: Josh Tucker

Place of last resort

An evacuation centre has been established at the Mundaring recreation centre, off Mundaring Weir Road but it is full to capacity.

Megan Griffiths, the acting chief executive of the Shire of Mundaring, said some people had evacuated.

“I think they are just relieved to be here, really, and those being evacuated, we are set up to receive them,” Ms Griffiths said.

DFES advises that the safest option may be to visit family or friends who live away from the area.

The Department for Child Protection and Family Support has also set up a temporary evacuation centre at Brown Park in Swan View on the corner of Amherst Road and Salisbury Road.

If it is not safe to shelter in your home, a safer place you can go to is a local open space, shed, swimming pool, dam or building where you may go to seek shelter from a bushfire.

This will give you some protection from the effects of a bushfire.

Take water, woollen blankets and wear protective clothing.

Visit, call 1300 657 209, follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.

At 5.05pm the Department of Parks and Wildlife issued a watch and act warning for the south-west of John Forrest National Park in the Shire of Mundaring.

Other fire warnings as at 4.20pm, Sunday

Bushfire advice warnings are current for fires at:
• Baldivis in the City of Rockingham
• Nowergup in the City of Wanneroo
• Pinjarra-Williams Road in the Shire of Boddington
• The western part of the Shire of Plantagenet and the northern part of the Shire of Denmark
• North West Coastal Highway between Carnarvon and Northampton in the Shire of Northampton

Middle Swan bushfire overnight

A bushfire in Middle Swan overnight has been brought under control after firefighters worked tirelessly through the early hours before Perth faces another scorcher today.

Last night was the hottest night on record in Perth.

The blaze, which was reported at 2.19am and is believed to have been started accidentally, burnt through 2ha. Firefighters protected homes in Patterson Drive.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services reports that it is safe for residents to return home but to be cautious of smoke hazards and emergency workers in the area.

Perth's hottest night on record | Extreme fire danger | Jolimont blaze | Perth weather

Remain alert in Jolimont

In inner suburban Jolimont, Cancer Council workers are assessing the damage after a shed was burnt in the blaze.

DFES this afternoon gave the all-clear for residents after a fire yesterday burnt 30ha.

More than 60 firefighters and a number of helicopters spent Saturday battling a fire that burned through about 30ha.

A chopper dumps water on the Jolimont blaze, with emergency appliances and firefighters in the foreground. Picture: Dom White

The fire which was contained but not controlled was moving northwest through Jolimont towards the University of Western Australia Research Park and producing lots of smoke, the DFES warned on Saturday night.

In the areas subject to Sunday's catastrophe fire warning, it says the conditions are "the worst conditions for a bush or grass fire", adding that if a fire takes hold "it will be extremely difficult to control and will take significant firefighting resources and cooler conditions to bring it under control".

The department is warning people put their survival first and leave the night before or early in the day.

The fire in Jolimont yesterday. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

40.6C at 9.30am today

The temperature in Perth 40.6C at 9.30am this morning, continuing the sizzle started yesterday when the mercury hit 42.7C at 4pm.

There was little relief during the night. It was 34C at midnight and hit a minimum of 30.1C at 3am before starting the climb back to 35C by 8am.

Severe and extreme fire warnings were issued for a number of regions in WA including Perth and Mandurah today.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued severe to extreme fire danger ratings as well as a catastrophic fire danger forecast for Gascoyne Inland, Inland Central West - South, Mortlock, Ninghan and Avon.

A bushfire advice remains in place for parts of the shires of Denmark and Plantagenet but the fire that started in bush in Mt Roe National Park on January 3 is contained.

Extreme heat warning for SA

There is an extreme fire danger forecast for the Great Southern, Inland Central West - North, Lower West Inland and Jilbadgie.

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the WA Goldfields, South Interior, Lower West Coast and Stirling Inland.

The Department of Fires and Emergency Services (DEFS) says people need to stay alert and watch for signs of fire, especially smoke and flames.

Much of WA has been baking in heat wave conditions with Perth recording a top temperature on Saturday afternoon of 43.3C

The BoM forecast for Sunday is for another very hot and sunny morning with a top temperature for Perth of 41C, with 25 km/h winds increasing to 45km/h before a southwesterly change.

The West Australian

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