Homes saved from Denmark bushfire
UPDATE 6.40pm: Firefighters have contained a bushfire which reached within metres of homes in a suburb east of Denmark on the south coast this afternoon.
Four homes were threatened as a bushfire quickly reached emergency level just after 3.30pm after starting as a scrub fire an hour earlier.
The fire started on the corner of South Coast Highway and Sea Change Close, 3km from the Denmark town centre and burnt through 14ha before being downgraded to advice level at 4.25pm.
Up to 40 firefighters from the Shire of Denmark and Albany prevented the blaze reaching homes in the suburb of Hay after waterbombers were stood down.
Denmark police Sergeant Matt Hartfield said crews were relieved to bring the fire under control.
“They have managed to get it under control and in the process have saved at least four properties as the fire has come within a metre of four properties,” Sgt Hartfield said.
“They had as many resources on hand as they could to get the fire under control.”
Sgt Hartfield praised the response of firefighters who acted swiftly.
“The potential for this fire unfortunately was pretty big. At one stage there was 40 bushfire brigade volunteers on the fire ground,” he said.
“From what I’ve been told there has only been some damage to some fences which is a great result for the guys doing the hard yards.”
STORY AT 4:25PM: Water bombers have been stood down in the fight against a bushfire three kilometres east of Denmark.
Denmark Shire President Ceinwen Gearon said 10 fire crews were at the scene, with three more expected from Albany.
“No houses or homes are (in) immediate danger at this point in time,” she said.
“The fire is bounded on two or three boundaries by bitumen ... but there is still a danger.”
Ms Gearon said no property had been reported damaged, and the Recreation Centre was on standby should evacuations be necessary.
However, the area is still considered dangerous.
She recommended people in the area stay close to a radio and listen to the ABC for emergency warnings.
A Shire SMS messaging system will alert locals to further danger if the fire escalates.
STORY AT 3:43PM: The Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued a bushfire emergency warning for the southern part of Hay in the Shire of Denmark at 3:33pm, about three kilometres from town.
The warning has been put in place for people bounded by South Coast Highway, Sea Change Close, Woodward Heights and the inlet in the southern part of Hay.
Springfield Heights has been closed to traffic.
The bushfire is moving in a westerly direction, and is out of control and unpredictable.
Water bombers have been called in to assist nine volunteer ground crews.
More emergency services are on the way and Shire of Denmark personnel are at the scene.
The fire is believed to have begun around the intersection of South Coast Highway and Sea Change Close.
It is not known if it is suspicious.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast at 4pm was for easterly winds between 20km/h and 30km/h.
DFES warned there is a threat to lives and homes and people in the area were warned to act immediately.
It suggested leaving now for a safer place if the way was clear.
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.
This story will be updated.
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