Bushfire in progress south of Perth, Australia. Increased fire threat for Western AU through at least Jan. 31. Disruptions possible.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 28 Jan 2020 14:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Jan 2020 19:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Bushfires
  • Location(s): Western Australia (map)
  • Date: Through at least Jan. 31
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; possible power outages

Summary
As of late Jan. 28, crews are working to contain a bushfire burning south of Perth, Western Australia, Australia. A "watch and act" warning is in effect for portions of Mardella, Hopeland, Serpentine, and Cardup. Portions of Mundijong, Oldbury, the northern portion of Mardella, Hopeland, Serpentine, and Cardup are under a bushfire advice warning. Additionally, there is an increased fire threat for much of Western Australia through at least Jan. 31 due to hot, dry, and windy conditions. Severe and extreme fire danger warnings are in place for southern and western Western Australia, while high and very high fire danger warnings are in place for western coastal regions and central regions of the state. Total fire bans are in place through at least Jan. 28 for areas of southwestern Western Australia. 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 possible.

Transport and Utilities

The bushfires may cause some road closures and localized transport disruptions in the affected areas. Anticipate the status of roads to change over the coming hours and days; authorities could close routes within the wildfire complex and evacuate additional communities due to fire activity and the needs of response operations. Traffic disruptions are also likely 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.

Smoke and ashfall from bushfires may cause poor air quality in Western Australia. Low visibility could trigger flight disruptions at airports in the region, including those serving Perth (PER). Power outages are likely within and near bushfire complexes.

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
Emergency WA: www.emergency.wa.gov.au

Bureau of Meteorology: www.bom.gov.au