THE bushfire burning near Greenbushes, which destroyed two homes yesterday, has been downgrade to a watch and act alert.
The warning is for the Greenbushes townsite and areas south to Dalgarup plantation in the Shires of Donnybrook-Balingup, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Nannup.
The watch and act has been issued for people south of Hay Road, west of South Western Highway, north of Forrest Park Avenue, west of Maranup Ford Road, north of the Dalgarup plantation and east of Wetherley Road and south of the Nannup-Balingup Road in the Shires of Donnybrook-Balingup, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Nannup.
There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching the area and conditions are changing. You need to leave or get ready to actively defend.
Put your bushfire survival plan into action.
If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear.
If you are well prepared and plan to actively defend your home, make final preparations now.
Do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. However, if you have access to a water tank and plan to stay and defend start patrolling around your house and check for spot fires.
If you are not at home, it is too dangerous now to return.
People in the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes that decide to leave are to place a green bag on their mail box or gate to advise firefighters that they have left.
Community meetings were held at the Bridgetown Recreation Centre and Greenbushes Hall earlier today.
Bushfire ADVICES are in place for people in:
· the area bounded by Hay Road, Nannup-Balingup Road, and South West Highway, excluding Balingup townsite in the Shires of Donnybrook-Balingup and Bridgetown-Greenbushes.
· the townsites of Bridgetown and Balingup including the area north of Brockman Highway and east of South West Highway from Hester townsite north to Balingup in the Shires of Donnybrook-Balingup, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Nannup.
· east of Dalgarup National Park and plantation, north of Brockman Highway, east of Maranup Ford Road and south of Greenbushes townsite and minesite in the Shires of Donnybrook-Balingup, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Nannup.
Although there is no immediate danger for people in these areas you need to be aware and keep up to date.
Stay alert and monitor your surroundings.
Close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners but keep water running through the system if possible.
Check the Fire Danger Rating for your area to help you decide what to do www.dfes.wa.gov.au/firedangerratings.
Read through your bushfire survival plan.
If you do not have a plan decide what you will do if the situation gets worse.
Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.
Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.
If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears.
If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
The following roads are closed:
• Southampton Road between Hay Road and Maranup Ford Road.
• Maranup Ford Road between Huitson Road and Brockman Highway.
• Spring Gully Road between Greenbushes townsite and Southampton Road.
Motorists should avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
For further details contact Main Roads WA on 138 138 or the Shires of Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Donnybrook-Balingup.
The Bibbulmun Track is closed between Balingup and Donnelly River Village.
The bushfire is moving slowly, which is allowing firefighters to continue to make progress on constructing containment lines. They are now focusing on the southern boundary.
The bushfire is burning in steep difficult terrain and is still out of control.
The fire started about 4pm on Tuesday February 12 west of the Blackwood River in Southampton. It has crossed the river and is burning in bushland, plantations and farmland.
The wind will remain a south westerly throughout the day at around 20 - 30 kilometres per hour. This means homes in Greenbushes may be impacted by the fire and you need to keep up to date.
Approximately 3,385 hectares have been burnt.
The other fires in the area are now contained. As weather warms up today the situation could change rapidly if fires break containment lines.
More than 200 personnel from the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the Forest Products Commission and local volunteer Bush Fire Brigades are working hard to contain the fire.
Firefighters will continue to identify and burn out unburnt pockets within containment lines to increase security of the bushfire on the northern and eastern boundaries.
The Air Intelligence Helicopter will continue to survey the area.
The Department of Education has advised that Greenbushes Primary School and Balingup Primary School are closed today, Thursday 14 February, because of the bushfire.
Parents are advised not to send their children to school as there will be no staff on site.
Western Power has advised that there are some homes in the area without power.
The cause of the fires is lightning.
DFES is managing the fires assisted by other agencies.