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Fire threatens Chidlow homes
Up in flames: A shed burns on a Chidlow property. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

UPDATE: 10:55am The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has confirmed a fire that threatened homes and destroyed four sheds in Chidlow overnight was caused by a fallen power pole.

The bushfire started between Old Northam Road, Chauncy Place, Haigh Road and Forsyth Place about 7.50pm when a power pole on private property was knocked over by a strong gust of wind.

More than 70 career and volunteer firefighters from 15 stations and brigades were sent to Chidlow, east of Perth, to battle the out-of-control blaze.

Firefighters are today closely monitoring the blaze.

This morning a department spokesman said initial crews were confronted with a fire that was directly affecting properties.

“The guys prevented the loss of any property in the area but unfortunately four outbuildings were lost, so things like sheds,” he said.

“A fair amount of fencing in the area has also been impacted.

“The crews have now brought it under control and they are in mop-up phase at the moment.”

At least one property on Thornwick Crescent was damaged by the flames last night.

A number of sheds at the property were engulfed.

Last night, concerned residents gathered outside their houses as the fire's glow lit gathering storm clouds.

Western Power was called to cut power to the area after a consumer power line went down.

At least four hectares of mainly bush and grass had been burnt by 9pm.

While the blaze is no longer threatening lives or homes, firefighters will closely monitor the situation today, with temperatures set to soar to 38C.

Crews will spend the day mopping up and strengthening containment lines.

An intelligence helicopter will also be sent to Chidlow today to pin-point any hotspots that could pose problems for the crews when winds pick up and temperatures start rising later today.

The department spokesman said he was hopeful the forecast winds would work in favour of the fire service.

“According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the temperatures are going to go up but the winds are going to be down,” he said.

“But then again, fires tend to produce their own weather patterns anyway with temperatures like this.”

Residents are advised to monitor their surroundings, turn off evaporative air conditions and read through their bushfire survival plans.

Motorists should avoid the area.