Perth bushfire rages through northern suburbs with homes, sheds lost in Tapping

Perth bushfire rages through northern suburbs with homes, sheds lost in Tapping

Thursday 23/11/2023
A shed destroyed by fire on a commercial property.(ABC News)

A massive bushfire raging through several northern Perth suburbs overnight which forced residents to flee their homes remains out of control this morning, with authorities confirming property losses amid ongoing extreme temperatures and high wind.

DFES incident controller Murray McBride told a residents meeting on Thursday morning several homes had been lost, although he was unable to confirm exact numbers.

Firefighters faced dangerous and unpredictable conditions overnight as they battled the blaze that bore down on several suburbs including Wanneroo, Mariginiup and Banksia Grove.


An emergency warning remains in place for parts of those suburbs, as well as Jandabup, Tapping, Melaleuca, and Sinagra, with residents east of Pinjar Road in Tapping warned they are in immediate danger, as the fire danger escalates.

Aerial vision shows a number of houses and sheds in the area badly damaged, and farm machinery burned.

"Shelter in your home in a room away from the fire front and make sure you can easily escape," is the official advice.

Those to the west of Pinjar Road are instructed to leave now if it's safe.

More than 100 firefighters are battling the blaze that started yesterday in Mariginiup.

Mr McBride said it was still too dangerous to let people back to their homes.

"At the moment we just can't let people in. It's really dangerous for the firies there as well."

Tapping resident Alan told ABC Radio at least three houses had been lost in his area.

"I'm probably 700m from Pinjar Road which is where the fire was," he said.

"I'm not sure if we lost any houses in between, but we came under a fairly heavy ember attack around 10.30pm—10.45pm.

"There were a couple of people who kicked the doors in notifying people. Thankfully there was nobody home, So no injury, no loss of life or anything like that. Just property damage."

About 1,500 hectares of land is estimated to have been burned so far.

DFES chief superintendent David Gill said rapid damage assessment teams were working to confirm the extent of property damage.

"Working in heatwave conditions, firefighters ... [were] working incredibly hard to arrest the forward rate of spread of this fire,' he told Perth ABC Radio

"Really difficult conditions, very challenging conditions for firefighters to operate."

Mr Gill said the fire had slowed down and crews were working to strengthen containment line around the 20-kilometre perimeter of the blaze.

More than 120 volunteer and career fire fighters and staff from other emergency services are at the scene.

Extreme fire conditions are forecast for the area today, with the temperature expected to hit 40 degrees.

A heatwave warning has also been issued, as Perth faces its fourth consecutive day of temperatures above 35 degrees.

More than 1,000 properties in the bushfire area are without power, with at least 150 people spending the night at an evacuation centre set up at the Gumblossom Community Centre in Quinns Rock.

An animal evacuation centre has also been set up at Wanneroo Showgrounds, and the State Equestrian Centre in Brigadoon is also taking in horses and ponies from properties hit by the fire.

Story by Andrea Mayes, Garrett MundyNicolas PerpitchJames Carmody, and Cason Ho

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