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Fire evacuations as Bremer braces for wind change
Bremer Bay fire looms. Picture: Danae Witherow

Firefighters bracing for a wind change are evacuating residents in Bremer Bay as they battle a bushfire just 3km north of the south coastal town.

Elderly residents in the town of 300 people have been asked to leave with forecast winds expected to push the blaze south today and tomorrow.

The fire was started by lightning on Thursday and has burned more than 11,000ha between Bremer Bay and Quaalup.

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A wind change tomorrow is expected to put pressure on containment lines and elderly people in the area have been asked to leave as a precaution, a Department of Environment and Conservation spokesman said.

The Bremer Bay Primary School has been closed.

Overnight about 130 people from local bushfire brigades, volunteer emergency service, WA Police, Forest Products Commission and DEC battled the blaze. Five aircraft are also fighting the fire.

Incident Greg Mair said there was a large fuel load between the fire and the town.

"There's quite extensive areas of bush and scrub land, as well as farmers' paddocks, between the fire and the community," he said. "And, the community itself does have quite a bit of bush in and around it."

The fire has entered the Fitzgerald River National Park and crossed the Bremer River and Gordon Inlet Road as well as parts of Doubtful Islands Road.

People camping along Doubtful Islands Road and Gordon Inlet Road have been asked to leave the area and visitors with travel plans to Bremer Bay are encouraged to make alternative arrangements.

Homeowners in the Shire of Jerramungup are encouraged to monitor their surroundings, close doors and windows and read through their bushfire survival plans.

A number of roads in the area have been closed and are expected to stay closed until the end of the week.

Deputy director general schools David Axworthy said he expected the primary school to be closed until at least Wednesday and would only re-open when it was safe to do so.

“We must protect students and staff from fire and that is why we are closing the school,” he said.

Bremer Bay General Store owner Danae Witherow said a lot of people had already left town and were heading for Albany or Boxwood Hill.

“The fire is only an hour away and it is not contained and it is not controlled,” she said. “If they can’t control the southern boundary then it could hit town.

“I’ve got to leave today because I have got a small baby. Yesterday they told all the mums, the elderly and the sick to leave but a lot of people are leaving anyway because it’s not worth it.”

Bremer Bay Community Resource Centre manager Lorraine Treeby told ABC Radio that residents were coping well.

"Most locals will be looking out their back door and seeing the big smoke cloud,” she said. “"Some of the firefighters have been doing burning off, so one minute there's no smoke and the next minute there's big puffs of smoke.

“You'd definitely notice there's a fire three kilometres out of town."