An out-of-control bushfire burning near the Perth Hills has engulfed at least three homes and is threatening more, with locals in a large swathe of the region told it is too late to leave.
A firefighter has been injured, suffering minor burns before returning to fight the blaze, which has raged through the night near the town of Wooroloo.
The shires of Mundaring, Chittering, Northam, and the City of Swan are being impacted by the fire.
Western Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) updated its emergency warning for the blaze early on Tuesday, expanding the warning area.
A region stretching east from Wooroloo to the Walyunga National Park has been told it is to late to leave.
“You must shelter before the fire arrives, as the extreme heat will kill you well before the flames reach you,” the warning said.
Meanwhile, surrounding areas including Brigadoon, Aveley, Ellenbrook and The Vines have been told to leave if they are not prepared to fight the blaze.
The bushfire was unpredictable and weather conditions are rapidly changing, the warning said, urging people to stay vigilant.
The fire reportedly claimed a number of homes on Monday night, and was burning close to a number of other properties.
DFES Incident controller Murray McBride told the ABC at least three houses were believed to be destroyed and one fire truck incinerated.
“It’s very difficult for the crews to control,” he said.
“This is a fast-moving fire. Don’t think you can stay home and defend this fire.”
An evacuation centre has been set up at Brown Park Recreation Complex on Amherst Road in Swan View.
Wooroloo falls into the Perth Metropolitan area which is subject to a five-day lockdown due to a COVID-19 community outbreak.
DFES said anyone forced to leave their homes should wear a mask and continue to follow precautions, including maintaining appropriate physical distancing.