Fire Emergency Declared in Lake Clifton

A BUSHFIRE emergency warning remains in place for people in Waroona, Harvey, Preston Beach, Lake Clifton and surrounds.

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It is no longer safe for people in Preston Beach and Waroona to evacuate.

People in Lake Clifton are encouraged to leave in a northerly direction.

Homes in Yarloop were lost overnight and three people are unaccounted for.

Overnight, 346 people registered at two emergency evacuation centres in Pinjarra and Australind.

The Bureau of Meteorology are predicting further thunderstorms throughout today and winds of more than 60km/h.

People living in these areas are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes.

The fire has breached containment lines under influence of strong winds, life and asset protection is a priority.

The wind is expected to remain blowing in a north easterly direction today and flames are burning up to 50m high.

More than 53,000 hectares have been burnt.

A bushfire emergency warning remains in place for people in an area bounded by Forrest Highway, Dorsett Road, Williamson Road, Mayfield Road, South Western Highway, Nanga Brook Road, Dawn Creek Road to Murray River, Murray River to Driver Road, Logue Brook Road, Dupont Road, Tallanalla Road, Harvey-Quindanning Road in the Shires of Waroona and Harvey.

This includes the town sites of Waroona, Hamel, Yarloop and Harvey.

There are unconfirmed reports that homes and property have been lost in Yarloop.

The bushfire is moving fast in a south westerly direction.

There are more than 200 firefighters and support staff responding to the fire.

Firefighters are using more than 48 appliances including 25 heavy machines.

Firefighters are continuing to build containment lines around the fire.

Aerial support will return at first light.

The bushfire has crossed Forrest Highway near Peppermint Grove Road and Old Coast Road.

Flame heights are up to 50 metres in state forest.

The fire has crossed South Western Highway near Yarloop.

It is out of control and unpredictable.

Burning embers are likely to be blown around homes and spot fires are starting ahead of the fire.

WHAT TO DO: (PRESTON BEACH, LAKE CLIFTON AND EAST TO SOUTH WESTERN HIGHWAY)

– You must shelter before the fire arrives, as the extreme heat will kill you well before the flames reach you.

– It is too late to leave, leaving now would be deadly.

– You need to shelter in your home and actively defend it.

– For people in Preston Beach it is also too late to leave. If you are unable to actively defend your home you should shelter at the beach. People in Lake Clifton should find an open space, shed, swimming pool or dam.

– Go to a room away from the fire front and make sure you can easily escape.

– Choose a room with two exits and water such as a kitchen or laundry.

– Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and trousers, made from cotton or wool, and strong leather boots.

– If your home catches on fire and the conditions inside become unbearable, you need to get out and go to an area that has already been burnt.

WHAT TO DO: (SOUTH OF FORESTRY ROAD AND HARVEY- QUINDANNING ROAD, INCLUDING HARVEY AS WELL AS LAKE CLIFTON)

– For people in Harvey townsite and surrounding areas, leave south along South Western Highway

– For people in Lake Clifton, leave in a northerly direction along Old Coast Road.

– If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear.

– There is ember attack ahead of the fire, so close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.

– It is not safe to stay and defend your home, your best chance for survival is to leave now.

– Do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. If you have access to a water tank and plan to defend your home, start patrolling with you hose and put out spot fires.

– If you are not at home, do not try to return as conditions in the area could be very dangerous.

PLACE OF LAST RESORT:

– If you cannot shelter in your home, a safer place you can go to is a local open space, shed, swimming pool, dam or building.

– This will give you some protection from the effects of a bushfire.

– Take water, woollen blankets and wear protective clothing.

EVACUATION CENTRE:

Murray Leisure Centre, 16 Camp Road, Pinjarra.

Leschenault Leisure Centre, Leisure Drive, Australind.

ROAD CLOSURES:

– Old Coast Road between Lakeside Road until it becomes Forrest Highway, then closed to Myalup Beach Road

– Old Bunbury Road between Forrest Highway and South Western Highway

– South Western Highway between Greenlands Road and Harvey-Quindanning Road.

– Nanga Road – between Murray River bridge and Driver Road

– Uduc Road / Harvey Quindanning Road at South Western Highway

– Myalup Beach Road between Forrest Highway and Forestry Road

– Forestry Road between Forrest Highway and Uduc Road

Motorists are asked to avoid non essential travel through the area.

If you must travel please ensure your petrol tank is full before you depart.

Main Roads advises:

If you are heading north to Perth an alternative route to take is Coalfields Highway to Albany Highway.

If you are heading south from Perth an alternative route to take is Albany Highway to Coalfields Highway.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:

If you are unable to contact a loved one who may have been affected by the fires visit the Red Cross website here: Register.Find.Reunite.

KEEP UP TO DATE:

Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa, listen to ABC local radio, or news bulletins.