More than 250 firefighters battling Bullsbrook blaze

This photo from Channel Ten shows smoke over hills at Baskerville.
This photo from Channel Ten shows smoke over hills at Baskerville.
Smoke seen billowing from the fire in Bullsbrook. <b>Photo: </b>@NewsTalk6PR

Smoke seen billowing from the fire in Bullsbrook. Photo: @NewsTalk6PR

More than 250 firefighters were on Thursday night desperately attempting to bring under control a huge blaze that was threatening homes in the Bullsbrook area.

In a torrid day for residents and firefighters, a series of fires sparked in the area late morning and early in the afternoon.

By early evening, a 700-hectare fire burning south of Shady Hills had joined with another 50-hectare fire that had started nearby.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Service's Kathy Nastov told Radio 6PR shortly after 8pm on Thursday that the merged fire had burnt through more than 1000 hectares and prevailing winds weren't helping the situation.

"It's a very big fire. About 280 firefighters have been working on it," she said.

"The winds have stayed between 20 and 30km/h and they will not be easing. And by 9am tomorrow [Friday] they are forecast to be between 30 and 50km/h."

The firefighting contingent included more than 100 volunteers and homes in Shady Hills were being directy threatened by the fires.

No loss of property had been reported by 8pm - other than the loss of some fences and sheds - but DFES emergency warnings that had been in force for much of the afternoon remained in place.

The warnings described the fire as "out-of-control" and "unpredictable", urged residents to act immediately to survive and applied to the following areas:

  • Shady Hills View, Gibbard Place, Clarkson Road, Taylor Road, Foaling Ridge and Auger Place
  • West of Walyunga National Park between Stock Road and Walyunga Road to Railway Parade.

Click Fire emergency - Middle Swan and zoom out for the complete map

A bushfire "watch and act" remained in place for people west of Great Northern Highway, from Butternab Road to Lage Road to Railway Parade.

The cause of the fires is yet to be confirmed but the Department of Fire and Emergency Services' Allen Gale said they had started along a train line, so they could have been triggered by a sparking train.

A relocation point had been set up at Pickett Park Hall, which was due to play host to a community meeting at 9.30pm on Thursday, at which residents were to be briefed on the situation.

The Swan Park Leisure Centre had been closed and Bullsbrook District High School will be closed on Friday.

A number of roads were closed on Thursday night, including:

• Rutland Road
• Warbrook Road
• West Swan Road
• Great Northern Highway from Rutland Road to West Swan Road

Traffic was being diverted south on West Swan Road and no vehicles were able to travel north from West Swan Road on Great Northern Highway.

Motorists were advised to avoid the area and be aware of fire and emergency services personnel working on site.

A bushfire "advice" had been issued for people from Herne Hill to Bullsbrook, east of the Great Northern Highway, in the City of Swan.

There was no immediate fire threat in that area but residents were asked to remain alert and up-to-date.

For more information visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website. Main Roads can be contacted on 138 138 for information about road closures.

- with Rania Spooner

This story More than 250 firefighters battling Bullsbrook blaze first appeared on WA Today.