Winds fan fires across State

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Scorching temperatures and strong winds triggered several blazes across the State, with at least 12,000 hectares of Mid West, South West and metropolitan WA consumed since last Tuesday.

Lightning sparked a fire near Dongara that burnt 10,000ha of scrub and farmland.

The fire, which started near Mount Adams Road in Arrowsmith, ignited Tuesday last week and was contained on Monday.

Irwin Shire chief bushfire control officer Peter Summers said flames from the fire leapt as high as 40 metres.

"It was about as bad as they get," he said. "It burnt in thick scrub and difficult terrain, so it was really hard to fight."

No lives or homes were threatened in the fire, but three broadacre farms and three lifestyle blocks were damaged.

More than 20 personnel battled the blaze and a bushfire advice remained for the shire of Irwin on Tuesday.

Two cows perished and 30 kilometres of fencing was destroyed in a fire that claimed 1650ha in Wannamal early this week.

The fire, which started on Sunday afternoon, broke its containment lines on Monday afternoon, posing a threat to lives and homes.

A total of 65 personnel, one helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft kept the fire away from homes. It was largely contained by Tuesday afternoon.

A bushfire advice was in place for people in the Shire of Chittering on Tuesday.

Lightning strikes caused a fire that claimed 50ha of Moore River National Park in the Gingin Shire.

The fire started over the weekend and fire crews mopped up into Tuesday.

In Wooroloo, a team of 35 firefighters battled to save one house and two sheds in a blaze that claimed 200 hectares.

The fire started on Monday morning and was contained by Tuesday afternoon.

Two roads were closed in the area and a bushfire advice was issued for people in the shires of Northam and Mundaring.

It is unknown what sparked a blaze that burnt through 30ha in Toodyay Shire from Sunday to Monday.

About 20 personnel worked to put out the fire and there was no major damage reported.

In the South West, more than 40ha of farmland was scorched by fires over the weekend.

In Wilyabrup, near Busselton, fallen powerlines triggered a blaze that burnt through 20ha on Sunday. The fire threatened six homes, and 35 people and 30 horses had to be evacuated.

Firefighters managed to contain the blaze by Monday and no homes or lives were lost.

On the same day, a fire burnt through 24ha in Nillup, about 60km south of Wilyabrup. About 90 volunteer and Department of Environment and Conservation workers, two water bombers and a helicopter worked to contain the fire.

Cattle farmer Peter Harrison had about 16ha of grazing land and 300 hay bales destroyed in the fire. "It got within about 10 metres of one of our houses and 600 metres of the house I live in," Mr Harrison said.

"Luckily I moved the cattle before the fire started on Sunday morning."

The cause of the Nillup fire, which damaged at least two properties, was unknown.

FESA media liaison officer Allen Gale said weather conditions and fuel loads created a perfect storm for bushfires.

"We are getting grass fires reported everyday and when you get conditions like this they are harder to control," he said.

"A low pressure system in the north combined with a high in the south gave us continuous easterlies."

Mr Allen said FESA's resources were stretched to the limit fighting fires around the State.

A total fire ban was issued for the Central West, Perth metropolitan area, Serpentine, Jarrahdale and Mandurah on Tuesday.

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