Bushfire emergency downgraded for Southampton, Cundinup areas

UPDATE - 12.55PM THURSDAY FEBRUARY 20

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has downgraded the bushfire alert for the areas around Southampton and Cundinup after firefighters were able to contain the blaze.

While still uncontrolled, the threat has eased for residents for people in the area. The department has advised residents to be on the look out for embers which may be blown around homes.

The bushfire, which began on Tuesday and has burnt 3,300 hectares, remains out of control moving slowly in a northerly direction. 

Photo: Clare Newnham

Photo: Clare Newnham

Firefighters are on the scene, patrolling the area and mopping up.

Approximately 250 Career Fire and Rescue Service, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service and Forest Products Commission firefighters are attending.

Due to smoke in the area air support is currently grounded. Air support will assist when conditions ease.

Firefighters have saved a number of houses in the area, while four sheds and four vehicles have been confirmed lost.

Watch and Act Warning

A bushfire WATCH AND ACT has been issued for people in an area bounded by Cundinup-Kirup Road, Ferndale Road and Hay Road to the north, Southampton Road to the east, Millstream Road, Barker Road, Spur Road and Matterhorn Road to the south and Cundinup-Dudinyillup Road to the west in parts of SOUTHAMPTON and CUNDINUP in SHIRES OF DONNYBROOK-BALINGUP and NANNUP..

There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching in the area and conditions are changing.

You need to leave or get ready to actively defend.

This does not include the townsites of BALINGUP, KIRUP, MULLALYUP, GREENBUSHES and NANNUP in SHIRES OF DONNYBROOK-BALINGUP and NANNUP.

These townsites are covered by the BUSHFIRE ADVICE.

What to do: 

If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear.

If you are well prepared and plan to actively defend your home, make final preparations now.

If you are not at home, do not try to return as conditions in the area could be very dangerous.

Close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.

Bushfire Advice

A bushfire ADVICE has been issued for people in the area bounded by Vasse Highway to the west, Jarrahwood Road, Claymore Road and Upper Capel Road to the north, South Western Highway and Maranup Ford Road to the east and Brockman Highway to the south in parts of SOUTHAMPTON and the townsites of BALINGUP, KIRUP, MULLALYUP, GREENBUSHES and NANNUP in SHIRES OF DONNYBROOK-BALINGUP, BRIDGETOWN-GREENBUSHES and NANNUP..

Brian and Nigel from the Wallcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade head east to help with firefighting efforts.
Photo: Wallcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade

Brian and Nigel from the Wallcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade head east to help with firefighting efforts. Photo: Wallcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade

There is no threat to lives or homes.

There is a lot of smoke in the area.

Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.

What to do:

Stay alert and monitor your surroundings.

Watch for signs of a bushfire, especially smoke and flames.

Close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners but keep water running through the system if possible.

Read through your bushfire survival plan.

If you do not have a plan decide what you will do if the situation gets worse.

If driving

Be extremely careful when driving through the area.

Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.

Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.

If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears.

If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

If you are on the western side of the fire, travel along Balingup-Nannup Road towards NANNUP. If you are on the eastern side of the fire, travel along Southampton Road to Brockman Highway to NANNUP.

A number of roads have been closed including Balingup-Nannup Road between Brockman Bridge and Hay Road; Southampton Road at Glenarden Road intersection.

Safer place

Your safest option may be to visit family or friends who live away from the area.

The evacuation centre is now closed. 

Warren Equestrian Centre in Manjimup have room for horses. Please contact them via their Facebook page or call Katie on 0409 112 529 before arriving. 

Bridgetown Boarding Kennels and Cattery can provide free board for evacuated pets (cats, dogs and other small pets e.g. rabbits and chooks). Please contact them on 9761 1751 and bring ID.

Sequin Lodge Wildlife Sanctuary in Manjimup can take any injured wildlife or wildlife from rehabilitators who have evacuated. Please contact them on 0459 250 386.

Place of last resort

If you cannot shelter in your home, a safer place you can go to is a local open space, beach, shed, swimming pool, dam or building.

This may give you some protection from the effects of a bushfire.

Take water, woollen blankets and wear protective clothing.

Schools

The Department of Education has advised Balingup Primary School will be closed today, Thursday 21st February.

For more information contact your school directly or visit www.det.wa.edu.au

Community Meeting

A community meeting will be held this afternoon, Thursday 21st February at the BALINGUP RECREATION CENTRE, South Western Highway, Balingup at 1:00pm. 

Stay up to date

Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: https://facebook.com/dfeswa/, listen to ABC Local Radio or listen to news bulletins. 

Updates will be issued every hour unless the situation changes.

This story Bushfire emergency downgraded for Southampton, Cundinup areas first appeared on Augusta-Margaret River Mail.