The Waroona Fires - What we know so far and links to resources

 Pic: Grant Eikelboom

Pic: Grant Eikelboom

Information about the Waroona Fire has been flooding in thick and fast. This article gives a brief overview of the situation, and provides some links to resources if you want to know more.

If you have resources or information you would like to add, email mandurah@justeverything.com.au


How do I stay up to date with the latest official alerts?

While most media outlets including Everything Mandurah are posting as much information as possible, you're able to go straight to the DFES website to see the latest alerts. At the moment new alerts are published about every hour, unless the situation changes. 

We are sending information via push notification through the Everything Mandurah app.

If you are in an area currently under threat, you should stay glued to the DFES website, or follow them on Twitter (with push notifications turned on).  You can call DFES on 13 3337. If you're unable to follow DFES on Twitter, we have a feed of their latest tweets embedded below. You can see DFES' latest warnings and posts. 

We don't recommend relying on Facebook for emergency alerts as Facebook picks and chooses what to show you in your news feed, meaning you may well miss important announcements. 

Telephone text and voice messages have also been issued to people in areas under threat. 

Latest Tweets from DFES. Refresh page to load new tweets. 


Where is the fire exactly?

Here is the latest map provided by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). This is the fire shape at 11:50pm Saturday 9 January 2016. 

You can see from the map that fire stretches from the coast south of Mandurah inland quite some way. It is currently heading slowly south towards Harvey. 

Landgate have a very useful site that shows fires all around Australia. Click here to view it, you'll need to zoom in on the area below Perth. Below is a screenshot taken Saturday evening. 

Another interesting map is produced by Incident Alert HQ with heat data from NASA. Here's a recent screenshot. 

The following short video gives a brilliant picture of where the fire is in relation to other towns, from Emergency AUS

Waroona Fly Over 3D Map

This flyover video from the folks over at EmergencyAUS gives a good perspective on the proximity of the Waroona fire to the nearby towns. This is based on the most recent DFES map which was from 2:10pm Saturday, and the fire has grown since then.

Posted by Everything Mandurah on Saturday, January 9, 2016

The same folks also have a website with a great map on it. Screenshot below. Click here to visit the site. 


Is anyone currently in danger?

Yes. At the time of writing this, DFES say that an EMERGENCY WARNING currently applies for east of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona.

There is a threat to lives and homes in Harvey, Cookernup, Wokalup and surroundings areas.

It is no longer safe for people in Preston Beach to leave due to downed power lines and debris across the road.


How big is the fire?

It's ridiculously large. 

This is a map of the fire from Friday overlaid on a map of Perth, both to the same scale. That will give you some idea of the breadth of it, and what the firefighters are dealing with. And it's grown since then. 

DFES say:

  • More than 70,876 hectares have been burnt
  • The fire perimeter is in excess of 226km

When did the fire start and what caused it?

The fire was first reported at 7.25am on 6 January 2016.

DFES say the cause of the fire is lightning


How many people are fighting the fire at the moment?

  • There are over 250 firefighters and support staff responding to the fire.
  • Firefighters are using more than 50 appliances including 38 heavy machines.
  • More fire fighters arrived today from over east to assist. 
  • Aerial support are also there, but cannot operate in the dark. So they'll be back in the morning.  

What's the situation with Power in the region?

Western Power has advised that there are electricity interruptions as a result of the bushfire. Currently around 3900 homes are without power.

Our crews are on standby and ready to start rebuilding the electricity network that has been damaged in the Waroona...

Posted by Western Power on Thursday, January 7, 2016

Can I get through there? Do I have to drive around?

Police and DFES are asking everyone to avoid all non essential travel. 

You will not be able to drive through the areas affected by the fire at the time of publishing this. 

You'll need to drive around. 

Here's road closure info:

ROAD CLOSURES:
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. 

Drive with caution due to livestock across the roads in some areas.

A number of main roads have been closed including: 
• Forrest Highway (both directions) from Pinjarra Road to Buffalo Road
• Old Coast Road (both directions) from Dorsett Road to Forrest Highway
• South Western Highway (both directions) from Greenlands Road to Marriott Road

Further road closures are in place within the area, including: 
• Old Bunbury Road between Forrest Highway and South Western Highway
• Nanga Road between Murray River bridge and Driver Road
• Nanga Brook Road, east of Scarp Road
• Forestry Road between Forrest Highway and Uduc Road 

Alternative route: 
• 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.


What else has been closed?

The following recreation sites are closed: 
 
• The Bibbulmun Track, between Dwellingup and Harvey-Quindanning Road
• The Munda Biddi Trail, between is closed between Dwellingup and Logue Brook Dam.
• Lane Poole Reserve
• The Captain Fawcett 4WD track
• Yalgorup National Park south of Mt John Road including Martins Tank campsite, Heathlands walk trail, Lake Pollard walk trail and Haywood day use site on Preston Beach Road
• Lake Brockman Tourist Park
• Hoffman Mill  
• Logue Brook Dam
• Waroona Dam and Lake Navarino Holiday Park. 


How much damage has been done?

143 properties have been confirmed lost including houses, sheds, caravans and other structures. 

Other farmland and property has also been destroyed. It's not yet known the full extent of the damage, and we probably won't until the fire is under control. 


Has there been any loss of life?

Sadly, yes. Police have confirmed two people so far have died from the fire. There are still one or two others reportedly missing at this time. Police reports on the exact number has been mixed. 


Who is responsible for dealing with the fire? 

An inter-agency Incident Management Team comprising DFES, Parks and Wildlife and local government is managing the fire. 


What can I send to help out?

Australians have been overwhelming with their generosity towards victims so far. 

However, DFES has repeatedly asked people not to send any physical items at this stage, and asked people instead donate money to the Lord Mayor's Appeal. 


How can we let people know we're ok, or look for missing people?

Authorities are asking those in fire affected areas to register with the Australian Red Cross. You can also use the same site to try and contact loved ones. Or call 1800 015 337. 


Who's helping all the animals?

For animal welfare issues, phone the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) on 9780 6200.

We came across a Facebook group that's doing what it can to assist with pets that have been affected, and also wildlife. They're trying to coordinate people who need help with their animals with others who can offer assistance. 

You might also consider supporting these guys who exist for the sole purpose of helping animals in emergencies like these.

This afternoon we will be in Pinjarra to do a scouting mission - feel free to contact us - 0407 774 595.

Posted by WA Veterinary Emergency Responders on Friday, January 8, 2016

Public donations - the following items are very welcome. We will put more info on our website later today.

Posted by WA Veterinary Emergency Responders on Friday, January 8, 2016

Just a suggestion for donations of snacks for the fire fighters. The Spud shed are selling big bags of crunchie bars for...

Posted by Lynn McGregor on Saturday, January 9, 2016

St Vincent's Pinjarra are now full and unable to take further donations for bushfire victims. Mandurah charities are...

Posted by Shire of Murray on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Perth people right Now we need you! We need desperately Parrot mix Kangaroo mix Joey mixHorse muesliJoey milk...

Posted by Jennifer McKay on Saturday, January 9, 2016