The following alert has been issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)
There is no change to the previous alert
This is an emergency broadcast from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. It is essential that the words are not changed.
Time of issue: 12:50 AM
Date of issue: 02 March 2019
Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING for HOWICK, BOYATUP and CAPE ARID in the SHIRE OF ESPERANCE
A bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING has been issued for people in an area bounded by Fisheries Road to the north, Cape Arid National Park to the east, the coast to the south, and Exchange Road to the west, and surrounding areas in parts of HOWICK, BOYATUP and CAPE ARID in the SHIRE of ESPERANCE.
- You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes.
- The alert level for this fire remains at an Emergency Warning because fire behaviour in the area is unpredictable and conditions could change quickly.
- The fire started near the intersection of Merivale Road and Exchange Road in HOWICK.
- Crews will be on site overnight monitoring the fire.
- If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place.
- Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.
- If your plan is to stay and actively defend, do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. If you have access to a water tank and plan to defend your home, start patrolling with your hose and put out spot fires.
- If you cannot leave, you need to get ready to shelter in your home and actively defend it.
- If you are not at home, it is too dangerous now to return.
- Close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.
Bushfire ADVICE for parts of BEAUMONT, CAPE ARID, HOWICK, BOYATUP, BURAMINYA and CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK in the SHIRE OF ESPERANCE
A bushfire ADVICE has been issued for people in or near Alexander Road, Henkes Road, Howick Road, Muntz Road, Orleans Road, Shao Lu Road, north of Fisheries Road, and west of Balladonia Road and surrounding areas parts of BEAUMONT, CAPE ARID, HOWICK, BOYATUP, BURAMINYA and CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK in the SHIRE OF ESPERANCE.
- There is no threat to lives or homes.
- There is a lot of smoke in the area.
- Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.
- There are fires burning throughout the advice warning area, and people are urged to remain vigilant.
- Stay alert and monitor your surroundings.
- Watch for signs of a bushfire, especially smoke and flames.
- Close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners but keep water running through the system if possible.
- Read through your bushfire survival plan.
- If you do not have a plan decide what you will do if the situation gets worse.
- Be extremely careful when driving through the area.
- Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.
- Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.
- If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears.
- If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
The fire that started in HOWICK is moving fast in a north easterly direction. It is out of control and unpredictable.
All other fires throughout the advice warning are stationary.
- Your safest option may be to visit family or friends who live away from the area.
- The temporary evacuation centre at the Esperance Civic Centre is closed.
- Anyone requiring emergency accommodation should call the Department of Communities Crisis Care helpline on 1800 199 008.
- There are additional camping areas available at the soccer fields at the Greater Sports Ground, with access off Brazier Street.
- If you need accommodation for your pets including cats, dogs or large animals, please contact the Shire of Esperance Ranger on (08) 9083 1533. Larger animals including horses can be housed at the Greater Sports Ground, but please contact the ranger prior to arrival.
PLACE OF LAST RESORT:
- If you cannot shelter in your home, a safer place you can go to is a local open space, beach, shed, swimming pool, dam or building.
- This may give you some protection from the effects of a bushfire.
- Take water, woollen blankets and wear protective clothing.
The safest route is to leave via Fisheries Road in a westerly direction towards Esperance.
ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and emergency services personnel working on site.
A number of roads have been closed including:
- Merivale Road
- Fisheries Road
- Balladonia Road
Motorists are asked to avoid the area, reduce speed and drive carefully due to smoke.
Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting www.mainroads.wa.gov.au or by contacting the Shire of Esperance.
All nature based campsites east of Esperance have been closed. These include:
- Alexander Bay
- Kennedy's Beach
- Cape Arid National Park
Other closures in the Shire of Esperance and Shire of Dundas include:
- Cape Le Grand National Park (closure to be reviewed at 8am, Saturday 2 March)
- Hellfire Bay Day Camp
- Frank Hann National Park
- Peak Charles National Park
- Dundas Nature Reserve
For more information on park closures please visit https://alerts.dbca.wa.gov.au/
WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
- Firefighters are on the scene.
- Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service, Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services, Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters are attending.
- Aerial support has been sent to assist ground crews.
- Local farmer units are also assisting at this fire.
The Shire of Esperance, State Emergency Service volunteers, St John Ambulance, the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) taskforce and WA Police are also in attendance.
DRONES AND AERIAL SUPPORT:
Never fly a drone, model aircraft or multirotor near bushfires. Doing so poses a major safety risk to firefighting personnel in the air and on the ground, and forces aircraft to be grounded or redirected, hindering firefighting efforts.
- The fire was reported at 06:46 AM on 1 March 2019.
- ABC local frequencies that can be heard in the Esperance area and surrounds: 837 AM (Esperance), 105.3 FM (Hopetoun), 105.9 FM (Ravensthorpe).
- The cause of the fire is lightning.
- DFES is managing the fire.
Register with Register.Find.Reunite. https://register.redcross.org.au/ to let your family and loved ones know you’re OK and where you will be relocating to via from any computer or mobile device.
If you are unable to contact a loved one who may have been planning to be in the area, enquire about their whereabouts through the online Register.Find.Reunite. system at https://register.redcross.org.au/
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: https://facebook.com/dfeswa/, listen to ABC Local Radio or listen to news bulletins.
Updates will be issued every hour unless the situation changes.