For the latest bushfire updates for Counties Mundaring, Chittering, Northam, and the city of Swan, northeast of Perth, search ABC Emergency or find your local ABC radio station

Firefighters battling a massive bushfire that threatens lives and homes in the Perth Hills says the situation is at a critical stage as strong southeast winds drive the fire towards homes on the northern edge of the fire

Incident Controller Peter Sutton said the situation was extremely dangerous, with strong gusts igniting the flames and multiple bursts in front of the main fire

He said homes on Clenton Road, Berry Road, and Toodyay Road in Gidgegannup, on the Avon Ridge Estate in Brigadoon, and along the Great Northern Highway are under threat.

Wind gusts of up to 70 kilometers per hour should hit the area overnight and drive the fire in a northwesterly direction

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) warned people on or around Clenton Road, Berry Road, and Gidgegannup that they were in imminent danger and that it was too late to leave

The fire has destroyed 71 homes since it started in Wooroloo, Perth Hills on Monday, and a widespread emergency alert remains in place

Rick Curtis, assistant commissioner for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), said the unpredictability and intensity of the fire meant it was not safe for people of Shady Hills and East Bullsbrook to stay and their homes on Wednesday night to defend, and they should go right away

“Ground teams and air suppression efforts are working to curb the forward movement of this fire,” he said

“We’d rather lose a house than lose a life. That’s what matters”

He said 21 planes fought the fire, along with more than 300 firefighters on the ground

“The fireplace is under multiple wind pressure as it changes over the next few hours This is a really challenging environment

“These winds will continue to escalate through the night with gusts of up to 60 kilometers per hour, and then as we move into the morning we will see a more steady eastern influence”

Noel Pusey, forecaster for the Bureau of Meteorology, said the high winds would likely last until Thursday afternoon

“We’re moving from a southwest to an east-southeast, which poses some problems for the fire fighters on the ground

“This will put pressure on the extent of the fire that has not been previously pressurized

“There is still a significant amount of this fire that has not been tracked and has not broken out. Work is still underway on it”

Mr Waters said the local firefighters were getting tired after three days on site and work was being done to see the feasibility of including intergovernmental crews

“[The fire] is currently burning our border We have machines and fire departments that defend, “she said

Premier Mark McGowan extended community support to include those affected by the bushfire

Perth and the affected fire zone are in the middle of a five-day coronavirus lockdown that began Sunday evening

“This is a situation like we have never seen before, a full [COVID] lockdown and raging bushfires it’s terrifying and will test us all,” McGowan said

“For everyone affected by the fires, I can say that every single Western Australian thinks of you today. We are ready to help in any way we can”

The state government said it contributed $ 2 million to the mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, which is now taking donations

The fire has had more than 11 so far000 hectares of land burned There are currently around 300 firefighters fighting the fire

The emergency alert now applies to parts of Millendon, The Vines, Bailup, Ellenbrook, Gidgegannup, Walyunga National Park, Upper Swan, Aveley, Wundowie, Belhus, Baskerville, Bullsbrook, Wooroloo and Brigadoon in Counties Mundaring, Chittering and Northam and the city of Swan

The entire warning zone was expanded to include a large part of the metropolitan area

A Watch and Act stays current for other areas including Aveley, Avon Valley National Park, Bailup, Baskerville, Bullsbrook, Ellenbrook, Gidgegannup, Henley Brook, Herne Hill, Lower Chittering, Middle Swan, Millendon, Melaleuca, Morangup, West Swan, Wooroloo, Wundowie, Dayton, Brabham, Hovea, Parkerville, Red Hill, Stoneville, Muchea, Jane Brook, Chidlow, and Mount Helena, while other suburbs to the east and north of Perth are subject to bushfire advice

ABC Emergency received advice from officials on planning a bushfire, including preparing a survival kit

Mr. Klemm said that while the number of properties destroyed was expected to increase slightly, most of the houses along the way of the fire have now been valued

“There is a section on the western edge that they cannot reach and they are currently working on it in a helicopter to see if there is any damage

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing and investigators were confident they had identified the origin of the fire

“We’re pretty sure it started on Werribee Road near the Great Eastern Highway,” he said

“We don’t know exactly how this started. No crime was detected at this point, but it is indefinite”

“I have two reports of break-ins, one in the suburbs of Aveley – a house evacuated as a precautionary measure because of the fire – and another in the Red Hill area,” he said

“In both cases, a small number of items were stolen from these houses as a result of inmates leaving for the purpose of evacuation

“I would not classify this as looting, but it is worrying that there have been two break-ins in these places”

Smoke from the bushfire covered a widespread area of ​​Perth on Tuesday, and a new smoke alarm went off late Wednesday

DFES warned areas north of Toodyay Road and Gnangara Road, including Bullsbrook, Two Rocks, Yanchep, and Muchea, and warned the smoke may not be clear for days

The temperatures in the affected fire zone reached around 35 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, but a cooler day is forecast for Thursday with a maximum temperature of 28 degrees

Three evacuation centers have been set up in the Brown Park Recreation Complex in Swan View, Swan Active in the Mittelland and Swan Active in Beechboro

About 230 people slept in the evacuation centers last night, while around 700 people signed up at the three venues

Craig Stewart, director of the Australian Red Cross in Washington, said psychological first aid is available for people in the evacuation centers

“People fleeing their homes dealing with the bushfires there and having families scattered around the place can be a pretty traumatic experience,” he said

“Our volunteers are there to help people cope with this psychological stress and to connect them with support”

Fire departments encourage you to develop a bushfire survival plan If you want to stay and defend your home, there are a few important things to keep in mind

Mr Stewart said there was also a register available in the evacuation centers to help reunite families who may have been separated

“If people nowhere have a signal and are visiting an evacuation center, we can manually collect their data and load it into the system later”

The federal government has announced financial support for people whose homes were damaged by the fire

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Shady Hills Estate, Bullsbrook

World News – AU – Firefighters warn Perth Hills bushfires at “critical” stage amid increasing winds

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-03/perth-hills-bushfire-number-of-homes-lost-revised-up-to-71/13115670