Emergency services are monitoring five bushfires burning in the popular Kimberley region as the area reaches a severe classification for this year’s dry season.
Alert warnings were issued on Monday to all people travelling along the Great Northern Highway in the Derby and Broome Shires as fire – some out of control and unpredictable – reduced visibility.
The fires are burning:
- Great Northern Highway north-east of Willare Bridge Roadhouse in the Derby Shire, West Kimberley,
- between Bidyadanga Road and Fraser Downs Road in the Shire of Broome
- 90 kiometres east of Roebuck Roadhouse
- Cape Leveque Road 15 kilometres south of Lombadina
- A fifth warning was issued by DEFES at 4pm Monday with a fire burning five kilometres south of Roebuck Plains Roadhouse in Shire of Broome.
DEFES Kimberley regional superintendent Grant Pipe said massive growth from recent rains had created large fuel loads and perfect bushfire conditions.
“It’s of grave concern to us,” Mr Pipe said.
“Someone or something causes a fire to start. They don’t start on their own but when we do have a fire they run very fast and they are very unpredictable.”
No roads are closed but people travelling near the fires are asked to take care and drive with vehicle lights on.
Mr Pipe said many tourists were unprepared to confront a fire in the outback.
“We find there’s very little preparedness.
“We’d just ask people to be prepared; have a portable radio, spare batteries, a woollen blanket and sturdy shoes.”
As of Monday evening, there was no threat to lives or homes but smoke was reducing visibility.
DFES advised extreme carel 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.
Try to avoid the fire area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
For more information visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.
Leanne Nicholson, WAtoday July 28 2014 [http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/five-bushfires-burn-in-tinderdry-kimberley-region-20140728-zxu6b.html#ixzz38p1yCTPv]