Bushfire burning south of Perth in western Australia, Jan. 10. Mandatory evacuations in place. Transport and utility disruptions possible.

Severity: Warning Alert

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This alert began 09 Jan 2020 20:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Bushfire
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia 
  • Start Date: Jan. 9
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; possible power outages

Summary
As of late Jan. 9, crews are working to contain a bushfire that is burning south of Perth, Western Australia. A bushfire watch and act warning is in effect for portions of Mundijong, Hopeland, Oldbury, Mardella, Serpentine, Baldivis, Wellard, and Cardup. A bushfire advice warning has been issued for Cockburn, Armadale, Kwinana, Rockingham, and Serpentine-Jarrahdale. Authorities have established an emergency shelter for displaced residents at Mike Barnett Sports Complex located at the intersection of Dixon Road and Goddard Street in Rockingham. Authorities have not provided an estimated containment date for the fire; hot and dry conditions may hamper firefighting efforts over the coming days, and additional fire growth is likely.

Transport and Utilities
The wildfire is causing localized transport disruptions in and around Perth. The status of nearby roads could change over the coming hours and days; authorities could close additional routes within the wildfire complex and evacuate communities due to fire activity and the needs of response operations. Traffic flows could also be disrupted during re-entry periods after authorities lift evacuation orders. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could contribute to traffic delays and congestion in the region. Power outages have been reported in parts of Baldivis. Road closures currently in effect in the area include:

  • Folly Road and Saint Albans Road from Kwinana Freeway to Mundijong Road
  • Mundijong Road from Kwinana Freeway to Kargotich Road
  • Duckpond Road from Mundijong Road to Banksia Road
  • Young Road
  • Doghill Road
  • Horsfall Road

Health
Smoke from fires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees, plants, and possibly building materials. Such smoke can hurt eyes, irritate the respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. Smoke may also worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Advice
Heed all evacuation orders. Seek updated information on road conditions if driving in the affected area; road closures and detours will cause increased congestion and delays. Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. Collect essential items - including identification and any important legal and travel documents - in a 'go-bag' that can be easily accessed. Charge battery-powered devices in case of prolonged power outages.

Resources
Western Australia Emergency Services: www.emergency.wa.gov.au

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