Almost one-third of people in the path of last year's devastating Parkerville bushfire adopted a potentially deadly "wait and see" approach to evacuation, despite being largely unprepared to defend their homes, a survey shows.
Research to be released today found a significant number of residents went against their pre-existing bushfire plan to evacuate, opting instead to delay to see how bad the fire got.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services renewed pleas for people to decide ahead of time to prepare to defend their homes or to leave early, rather than waiting for "the fire to be lapping at the back fence".
The survey of 90 households in the "fire scar" area, commissioned by DFES from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre, found a "notable lack of both readiness to leave and urgency" among those who planned to evacuate early.
DFES community engagement director Suellen Flint said the results were concerning.
The study found 49 per cent planned to evacuate, 14 per cent to stay and defend and 11 per cent to have some family members stay and others leave.
Ms Flint urged people to visit www.areyouready.wa . gov.au.