SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Incorporated)

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10/01/2012 – Fire and flooding in the Pilbara

Karijini National Park has been closed because of flash flooding and inundation of roads and sites in the park.   Heavy rainfall has been received since 3 o’clock this afternoon and is expected to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours.   Travellers should avoid the area and remain on major roads and take note of road closures and associated signage. People should contact local visitor information centres before going to the area to confirm the status of the park.  

There is significant danger associated with flash flooding within the gorges, with water levels predicted to rise significantly, making the area dangerous and unpredictable.    Travellers in the park are advised to stay with their vehicles and move to high ground where possible and not attempt to cross flood ways and streams.
Source: Dec media realease 9/1/2012

And in near Canarvon

Unfavourable weather conditions expected today could push an out-of-control bushfire near Carnarvon into plantations in the Gascoyne River system, incident controller John Tillman has warned.  Mr Tillman, who is leading a multi-agency team, said strong north-easterly winds and a forecast temperature of 36C could send the fire towards Carnarvon’s plantations.

North West Coastal Highway remained closed last night after the blaze threatened several properties during the day, including Mardathuna homestead, where two people were evacuated.  The Department of Environment and Conservation downgraded its fire warning about 7.15pm last night, but had earlier warned that the blaze, burning along the highway about 60km south of the Minilya Roadhouse, was moving in a north-easterly direction towards the Mardathuna and Hill Springs homesteads.  The department said the fire had burnt about 155,000ha. Flames were reported to be up to 8m high.
The western edge of the fire last night crossed the North West Coastal Highway, and is moving west towards Lake Macleod as well as along the eastern edge of the highway, according to the latest information available from the DEC.

Main Roads WA advised motorists planning to use North West Coastal Highway between Carnarvon and the Minilya Roadhouse to avoid the area.  Hill Springs homestead owner Janice Hopkinson said she and her husband had faced a nail-biting day after being told the fire was heading in their direction, but it looked as if their home would be saved.



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