Residents warned wind could push bushfire inland

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Shire of Gingin residents advised to be alert as the Yanchep-Gingin bushfire has been difficult to get under control and there are fears a wind change could push it inland. Picture: Anita McInnes

RESIDENTS inland of Guilderton and Woodridge are being advised not to be complacent as a strong southwesterly wind could push a major bushfire towards other Gingin settlements.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services incident controller Danny Mosconi said last night firefighters had been able to take advantage of more favourable conditions than forecast to backburn and strengthen containment lines.

Mr Mosconi said they were concentrating on the northern parts of the bushfire, which started in Yanchep on Wednesday, December 11 and has burnt about 13,000ha.

At an 8.30am media briefing at the Carabooda incident control point he said the bushfire was stationary but uncontained.

He said a strong southwesterly expected later today could push the bushfire further inland.

At the media briefing Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said although more than 6000 homes had been saved since the bushfire started in Yanchep on Wednesday, December 11 that was mainly due to the outstanding work of firefighters of which there are now more than 400 taking part.

Mr Klemm said their hard work and the milder conditions meant a bullet had been dodged at Woodridge last night but the threat had not passed and people in surrounding areas including Neergabby, Redfield Park, Sovereign Hill needed to put a bushfire plan into action.

Mr Klemm said as well as the service station lost in Yanchep a house on Yanchep Beach Rd but not associated with the service station had also been lost.

Mr Mosconi said one firefighter had been injured by a falling tree branch.

Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said the Yanchep bushfire was a level three incident and it was due to the remarkable work of firefighters that the bushfire had gone around Yanchep and Two Rocks and the Seatrees and Breakwater estates.

Mr Klemm said it had been decided to bring a Boeing 737 large aircraft tanker to operate out of Pearce air base as part of a strategy to control the bushfire, which has been difficult to get under control due to the weather, the terrain and the dryness.

He said he hoped the large aircraft tanker able to carry more than 15,000 litres of water would sit on the ground and not be required.

But while Yanchep News Online was waiting this morning to visit Breakwater estate to see the damage caused by the Yanchep bushfire there was already talk that the large aircraft tanker had gone to fight a bushfire in Collie.

Firefighters worked hard to stop the Yanchep bushfire reaching this home in Breakwater estate. Picture: Anita McInnes

At 6pm today the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions confirmed the large aircraft tanker had been sent to the Collie bushfire where 7400ha of land has burnt since the bushfire was reported at 12.44pm yesterday.

A number of roads remain closed in the City of Wanneroo and the Shire of Gingin – Wanneroo Rd-Indian Ocean Dr between Pipidinny Rd and Seabird Rd (open for people to leave only), Indian Ocean Dr is open to local traffic only between Seabird Road and KW Road, Breakwater Dr between Mayflower Pde and Indian Ocean Dr, Gingin Brook Rd between Military Rd and Indian Ocean Dr, Cowalla Rd between Gingin Brook Rd and Beermullah West Rd, Yanchep Beach Rd between Parkland Rd and Indian Ocean Dr and Old Yanchep Rd east of Indian Ocean Dr.

Yanchep National Park and Wilbinga Conservation Park and adjacent state forest remain closed.

People in Guilderton and Woodridge should leave now in an easterly direction towards Indian Ocean Dr and use Gingin Brook Rd to travel towards Gingin as fire is approaching the area.

If you live north of Woodridge or Guilderton leave in a northerly direction along Indian Ocean Dr and then travel east along KW Rd.