Christmas Day panic as blazing bushfire threatens homes and lives in small beach town on Australia’s west coast
- Residents in south-eastern WA warned to prepare to flee after bushfire threat
- They were warned of possible threat to lives and homes on Christmas Day
- Warning has since been downgraded after 100 firefighters contained the blaze
- There is no threat to lives or homes in the Bremer Bay and Boxwood Hill areas
Christmas Day celebrations were abruptly abandoned as residents prepared to flee their homes under threat from a raging bushfire on Western Australia’s south coast.
Emergency Western Australia reissued a watch and act message for Bremer Bay and Boxwood Hill, 500 kilometres south-east of Perth on Tuesday morning.
‘There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching in the area and conditions are changing,’ a public warning stated.
Bremer Bay Caravan Park stated on its Facebook page on Monday that it remains open for holidaymakers, despite a bushfire threat in recent days
‘You need to leave or get ready to actively defend.’
The alert has since been downgraded to advice level after more than 100 firefighters managed to contain the blaze.
‘Thank you to the selfless individuals who have sacrificed time with their families at this time of year to keep the community safe,’ Emergency WA later tweeted.
The fire is still burning within containment lines on the western side of Dillon Bay Road against the wind in a south easterly direction.
‘There is no threat to lives or homes,’ the latest warning states.
‘There is a lot of smoke in the area. Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.’
Dillon Bay Road, Reef Beach Road, Reef Beach Track and Warramurrup Road remained closed while Borden-Bremer Bay Road between South Coast Highway and Millers Point Road has since reopened.
‘Beach and bush camping between Dillon Bay and Pallinup River is closed until further notice,’ the WA Emergency states on its website.
The Bremer Bay bushfire burned through more than 9,000 hectares of scrub in recent days
Relieved residents have since to social media to express their gratitude to firefighters.
‘ Words can’t express our gratitude to those local and those that come far to fight this beast of a fire. Even now when you would rather be with your loved ones you’re here keeping things under control,’ one posted.
A Christmas Day warning for residents to prepare to leave has since been downgraded
Another added: ‘Tough gig in hot conditions at a time of the year when we would all rather be doing fun stuff with our favourite people.’
The fire was first sparked on Thursday last week and has since burnt through more than 9000 hectares of scrub.
The current heatwave in the nation’s west has hampered firefighters’ efforts to control the blaze.
On the other side of Australia, a bushfire that threatened properties on Bruny Island off Tasmania’s south coast on Christmas Eve is also now under control.
More than 100 firefighters managed to get the Bremer Bay bushfire under control on Tuesday
Residents in the island’s south were advised to evacuate the area or prepare to actively defend their properties.
The Tasmania Fire Service warned residents embers, ash and thick smoke may be a hazard ahead of the main fire.
Around 22 hectares were burnt in the blaze.
‘Fire crews and helicopters are making good progress on the Conleys Point, South Bruny Island fire. Today the TFS and Parks and Willdlife Service has 15 trucks and 5 helicopters working on the fire,’ the Tasmania Fire Service posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
This photo of of the Bremer Bay bushfire in Western Australia was taken on Sunday