The West

Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Extra firefighting crews will be put on standby as authorities brace for another weekend of extreme fire conditions that are expected to be worst in the Perth Hills.

Residents in the southern part of Bullsbrook were put on an emergency alert briefly yesterday when a bushfire threatened to spread and engulf houses.

FULL COVERAGE: Hills Inferno

The cause of the blaze was yet to be determined last night.

There are fears the fire was a preview of what could happen this weekend with forecasts of temperatures nudging 40C and gusty conditions across Perth and the South West.

The conditions are expected to last into next week.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said this weekend was not expected to be as bad as last weekend, when a bushfire razed 56 homes in Hills suburbs Parkerville and Stoneville.

However, DFES deputy commissioner Lloyd Bailey said it would still be dangerous for firefighters.

Asked how this weekend would rate on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest fire danger, Mr Bailey said: "If last weekend was 11, I think we're around eight this weekend."

"Obviously, we're going to be prepared for the worst again.

"But we'll have to just manage any fires leading up to Sunday and Monday as best we can and ensure we have residual capacity to battle the next one that pops up."

Brad Santos, from the Weather Bureau, said Perth's maximum temperature was forecast to be 36C today and 38C tomorrow, with winds expected to gust up to 60km/h.

Mr Santos said the gusts were likely to be stronger in the Perth Hills before conditions became windier early next week.

"We expect the wind gusts to peak in the Perth Hills area but it will be windy right through the metropolitan area, mainly in the overnight to early morning period," Mr Santos said.

Mr Bailey said "contingencies" had been prepared for this weekend given the forecast and there would be special focus on the Perth Hills.

Despite demands on firefighters in the past week, he was confident resources were not stretched ahead of this weekend, noting many volunteers would be available today and tomorrow.

The West Australian

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