Margaret River bushfire emergency: More lives, homes threatened if blaze jumps Caves Road

Headshot of Briana Fiore
Briana FioreThe West Australian
VideoMargaret River bushfire emergency

Premier Mark McGowan has warned that the raging bushfire in Margaret River could jump Caves Road later on Thursday, which would put more homes and farms in danger.

The blaze is burning out-of-control in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, where “very high fuel loads” are feeding it.

Mr McGowan said the situation was “very serious and concerning”.

He said the fire had been elevated to a level three, meaning it was now a significant threat and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services had taken over the operation from local authorities including the council and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Mr McGowan urged people to listen to the advice being provided and “get out as soon as you can”.

“If you are advised to evacuate, evacuate now,” he said.

The fire burns in the countryside.
Camera IconThe fire burns in the countryside. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Mr McGowan said some people had already been evacuated because their houses were deemed to be in the danger zone.

A second, large aerial tanker is also expected to arrive from NSW on Thursday to help fight the blaze.

“That’s a good resource we share between the States and hopefully that’ll help contain the fire,” Mr McGowan said.

The fire, which started about 9.50am on Wednesday and has burnt 1050ha, is moving along Caves Road in a north-westerly direction.

A bushfire watch and act is in place for people bounded by Rainbow Cave Road to the north, Harrison and Thompson roads to the east and Bussell Highway to the south-east, then south to Chapman and Hamelin Bay roads.

DFES has advised all residents to evacuate the area before it is too late.

“If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place,” a DFES statement said.

“Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.”

Margaret River fire
Camera IconThe blaze in Margaret River. Credit: Jesse Noakes/Jesse Noakes

Residents have been told to close all doors and windows and turn off any evaporative air conditioners but to keep the water running through the system if possible.

People are advised to leave via Bussell Highway if it is safe to do so.

A number of roads have been closed in the area, and motorists are warned to watch out for emergency services when driving.

Roads have been blocked as firefighters battle the blaze.
Camera IconRoads have been blocked as firefighters battle the blaze. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

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