Red Gully bushfire rages towards unexploded bombs north of Lancelin as Mainland Wedge Island at high risk

Brianna DuganThe West Australian
VideoDFES WA Deputy Commissioner Craig Waters says residents should be alert with dangerous fire conditions expected in the coming days

WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services have calls for concern as the Red Gully bushfire rages on towards old explosives surrounding Wedge Island.

Mainland Wedge Island is at high risk of fire threat as firefighters are unable to enter the perimeter due to unexploded ordinances from the old Lancelin bombing range that surround the settlement.

A community meeting was held at Guilderton Country Club with DFES saying the land is too dangerous for anyone to enter as the subsurface bombs are too high risk.

DFES said the bushfire was accidental and is travelling at a rapid pace of 3.5km per hour in a North-West direction — straight for mainland Wedge Island.

Red Gully fire
Camera IconRed Gully fire Credit: DFES

The fire — which has been ablaze since Saturday — has burnt through 7,200 hectares of land and has a 50km perimeter.

There are over 200 firefighters and emergency services on the scene, with a minimum of 13 aircraft's in the sky dumping fire retardant at any given time.

DFES extended their appreciation to the residents of Ocean Farms saying they are grateful they self-evacuated allowing the firefighters to concentrate on their job.

The out-of-control fire — which jumped containment lines last night— is still roaring through the northern towns of Gingin and Dandaragan.

Gingin fire
Camera IconGingin fire Credit: DFES / Nikki Woods

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has issued an urgent alert to residents of Ocean Farms Estate, telling them to leave now.

“If the way is clear, residents of Ocean Farms Estate must leave now for a safer place. Your life will be in danger if you stay. Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly,” the alert says.

Residents are advised to leave via Indian Ocean Drive in a northerly or southerly direction.

Farmers east of Lancelin, which cannot be accessed, have been urged to flee as well.

To do so, they much travel in a southerly direction via Indian Ocean Drive.

Red Gully fire
Camera IconRed Gully fire Credit: DFES

An evacuation centre has been set up at Guilderton Country Club on Wedge Street in Guilderton.

If residents are unable to leave, they are being told to shelter in place now.

The blaze is out of control and unpredictable, with burning embers igniting spot fires up to 200 metres ahead of the firefront, and winds causing large amounts of ash and dust to blow over the fireground — reducing visibility across Brand Highway.

The fire continues to threaten homes and farms in parts of Regans Ford, Red Gully, Cowalla, Moore River National Park, Nilgen, Mimegarra, Karakin, Yathroo, Orange Springs, Lancelin and Ledge Point — including Ocean Farms and Seaview Park — in the shires of Gingin and Dandaragan.

Most at risk are people bounded by Brand Highway, Nammegarra Road, Mimegarra Road, Dingo Road, Nilgen Road, Indian Ocean Drive, K.W. Road, Sappers Road, Orange Springs Road and Nabaroo Road.

If you live in those areas you are in danger and need to act immediately to survive.

Red Gully fire
Camera IconRed Gully fire Credit: DFES

This morning Premier Mark McGowan announced the State had secured a second large aerial tanker to assist ground crews battling the blaze, revealing the aircraft would be flying in from Victoria today.

“She'll be commissioned to work on that fire so we will have two large aerial tankers that are working on that fire,” he said.

A number of roads have been closed including Indian Ocean Drive from K.W Road to Wedge Island Road, K.W Road (East of Indian Ocean Drive), Nilgen Road (East of Indian Ocean Drive), Minegarra Road from Brand Highway, Orange Springs Road West from Brand Highway, Orange Springs Road at the intersection of Sappers Road, Nabaroo Road and Cowalla Road and Orange Springs Road at the intersection of Nine Mile Swamp Road.

Follow the latest updates on the Emergency WA page.

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