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Fireys braced for heat

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Firefighters across the region had braced for extreme fire conditions on an unfamiliar scorching November day on the south coast.

The long-range weather forecast had given firefighting authorities a window of preparation.

Few places were spared from the blistering heat which reached 38.8C in Albany — the highest November temperature since 2003 when it hit 39.2C.

The heatwave lasted only one day with the temperature expected to reach only 19C yesterday.

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DFES Great Southern acting Superintendent Kevin Parsons said he was concerned the rising temperatures would catch many home owners unprepared.

“Bushfires are almost unstoppable in these conditions, you need to be prepared or it’s too late,” he said. “This sort of weather has come on pretty quick.”

Japanese tourists Chika Komori and Noriko Fukuda cool off at Middleton Beach.
Camera IconJapanese tourists Chika Komori and Noriko Fukuda cool off at Middleton Beach. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Bushfire incidents popped up regularly across the Great Southern with up to 15 reported incidents being combated by local volunteers and the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Added resources from Perth were brought into the DFES Great Southern office as potentially “unstoppable” fire conditions faced crews on the front line in an early season test.

National parks and Borden and Kendenup primary schools were closed while fixed-wing water bombers had arrived in the region early. .

By yesterday at midday, eight incidents were still being attended to while blazes which had warranted advice and watch and act alerts including Mt Shadforth and West Cape Howe National Park were given the all-clear.

A bushfire advice remained for a blaze at Hay, east of Denmark, which began on Monday afternoon, burning through 500ha.

A bushfire advice was issued for the western part of Walpole, in the vicinity of Rest Point Road but it was given the all clear on Tuesday.

Ten smaller bushfire incidents were reported on Tuesday.

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