Over 120 firefighters are battling a dangerous out-of-control bushfire that started Saturday morning north-east of Perth. An emergency warning is in effect for parts of Chittering and Lower Chittering as gusty winds fan the fast-moving blaze that is threatening lives and homes.
The fire broke out mid-morning and has already burned over 120 hectares. Meanwhile, another emergency-level fire is burning further northeast in Bindoon and Mooliabeenee.
The Perth area is enduring a weekend heatwave with temperatures soaring above 40C, severely hindering firefighting efforts. The exceptionally hot, dry and windy conditions have combined to create an extremely volatile and unpredictable fire situation across the state.
There are currently about 34 bushfires burning in Western Australia, significantly more than this time last year.
The Chittering fire started around 9:30 AM Saturday near the intersection of Julimar Road and Chittering Road. The out-of-control blaze quickly spread, burning on both sides of Chittering Road, which had been closed between Julimar Road and Chittering Valley Road.
The emergency warning area is bounded by Blue Plains Road and Julimar Road to the north, Davis Road to the east, the intersections with Chittering Valley Road and Sunburst Rise to the south and Great Northern Highway bordering the area to the west.
Residents in the emergency zone are in immediate danger and must act now to survive as the firefront threatens lives and property. The fire behaviour has intensified, triggered by scorching temperatures over 40C and wind gusts exceeding 25 kilometers per hour. The blaze remains uncontrolled and uncontained as it pushes farther west, fanned by strong easterly winds.
Authorities have advised residents who have evacuated not to attempt to return to the area and to avoid the fire zone altogether as firefighters and emergency personnel continue working to contain the inferno.
An evacuation center has been established at the Bindoon Town Hall on Great Northern Highway in neighbouring Bindoon. For those still trapped in the emergency area, Chittering Road is currently open, heading north to escape. Residents in the designated watch and act zone south and west of the fire can evacuate, heading either south or west.