Fire threatens Cheynes Beach

Tim Edmunds ALBANY ADVERTISERAlbany Advertiser
File picture: The West Australian
Camera IconFile picture: The West Australian

UPDATE: Firefighters are continuing to battle three separate out-of-control bushfires east of Albany which began from lightning strikes today.

Residents of Cheynes Beach are being warned to prepare to leave or defend their homes with a nearby bushfire threatening the townsite.

Crews from Department of Parks and Wildlife along with local volunteers are bracing for a wind change which could force the fire, which started from a lightning strike this morning, towards the coastal community.

Firefighters are expecting the wind to change from north westerly to south-westerly this afternoon meaning homes could be threatened with a watch and act alert remaining in place.

The fire started from a lightning strike south of Cheynes Beach Road in the southern part of Waychinicup National Park this morning and is burning towards the coast.

Firefighters have begun creating containment lines on the northern flank and back burning.

Firefighters are also battling separate unpredictable blazes in Green Range and near Mt Yungermore in the Stirling Range National Park.

Recreation sites near Mt Yungermore including Bluff Knoll carpark, Ridge Walk, Mount Toolbrunup day-use area and Moingup Spring campsite have all been evacuated while Bluff Knoll Road is closed.

The fire was reported to have also started from a lightning strike at 1.30pm and is burning in a north-easterly direction.

Aerial support in the form of two-fixed wing waterbombers have been sent to assist at the scene with flames up to four metres high and the fire being described as “unpredictable”.

The expected wind change means the park’s recreation sites could be threatened by fire.

The Green Range fire started near Venns Road is moving slowly in a southerly direction after being reported at 11.54am.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services advise there is no threat to lives and homes.

The City of Albany is managing the fire with firefighters from the Green Range, Stirling South and Wellstead bushfire brigades fighting the fire and creating containment lines.

The fire had burnt through 30 hectares in just over three hours.

A severe fire danger was forecast for today with severe thunderstorms forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rain.

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