Margaret River fire: Quad bike rider in emergency evacuation as blaze closed in

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
VideoMargaret River bushfire emergency

Paramedics rushed to treat and evacuate a man injured in a quad bike crash at a South West campground where an out-of-control bushfire is burning.

The rescue on Wednesday night came as authorities on Thursday warned people to stay away from the fierce blaze burning 20km south of Margaret River and campgrounds in the fire zone were evacuated.

Strong winds blowing north-west at more than 30km/h are now fanning the fire near Conto as more than 100 firefighters and several aircraft battle the inferno.

Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park has been closed.

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Property owners on Calgardup Road in Forest Grove at the north-east front of the fire were warned their homes would be under threat in three hours.

St John Ambulance was called to the edge of the Conto’s fireground on Wednesday night to rescue a man believed to be sightseeing at the massive out-of-control blaze.

An ambulance crew from Augusta attended the quad bike accident in which a man was injured after his vehicle rolled over.

Volunteer ambulance officers arrived about 9.39pm at the site on Conto Road in Boranup.

Dark skies over Margaret River as the fire looms.
Camera IconDark skies over Margaret River as the fire looms. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

“Reports of the firefront approaching prompted a priority-one response,” a St John Ambulance spokesperson said.

“A man was taken to Witchcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade with non-life-threatening injuries for assessment and treatment.

“The man was then taken to Margaret River Hospital.”

Residents and holidaymakers in the area are being urged to stay away from the incident, with many roads closed as well as campgrounds within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park controlled by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

“The alert level for this fire has been upgraded as the fire is escalating in heavy fuels,” a DBCA spokesperson said.

“Rural properties on Calgardup Road will be under threat within three hours.

Authorities battle the blaze.
Camera IconAuthorities battle the blaze. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

“You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes.”

Strong winds, the inability of firefighters to use mechanical suppression, and heavy fuel loads not controlled since 2005 were contributing to the difficulties in controlling the fire which started on Wednesday morning during a Statewide total fire ban.

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