Bushfire update: Fire downgraded to Watch and Act in Anketell, Oakford, Oldbury and Casuarina

Kate RyanThe West Australian
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VideoA bushfire has already destroyed at least one home in Perth's south.

The bushfire burning in Perth’s south has been contained but authorities say it’s not yet under control as more than 150 firefighters battle the blaze in ‘trying conditions’.

Hot temperatures and strong, gusty winds have been making conditions hard for fire crews, but containment lines were strengthened and at midday, the fire was downgraded to a Watch and Act.

The Arson Squad arrived to comb over the ashes and are calling the fire suspicious.

DFES incident controller, superintendent Peter Sutton, said the cause isn’t known.

A bushfire is threatened homes and property in Oakford yesterday.
Camera IconA bushfire is threatened homes and property in Oakford yesterday. Credit: Andrew Kilburn

“The Arson Squad have looked at the area and have done their role. They can’t find a cause, so obviously the way they’re leaning then, is towards suspicious,” he said.

“So we just ask people to report any information, if they have Dashcam footage of or around the area to report that to police.”

The fire started on the corner of King Road and Abernethy Road just after 11am on Saturday.

While the fire is being treated as suspicious, the Arson Squad haven’t gone as far to say ‘deliberately lit’ — ‘human involvement’ is how’s it’s been described.

The fire came very close to homes yesterday, but firefighters managed to save many properties.

One house, believed to be derelict, was confirmed to be destroyed and almost 300 hectares burnt.

A house on Thomas Road goes up in flames.
Camera IconA house on Thomas Road goes up in flames. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

“Our firefighters, whether they’re career or volunteer do an amazing effort. We also had firefighters in the air, we also used the large air tanker effectively yesterday,” Mr Sutton.

“The situation is still critical, so for the rest of the day we will be testing the strength of the containment lines.”

Prison officers were seen attending the incident control centre at the Oakford volunteer bushfire brigade.

The Department of Justice said social visits were cancelled to Casuarina Prison and it is liaising with DFES.

The Kwinana Freeway is still closed in both directions from Mortimer Road to Rowley Road. Restricted access is allowed near the fire area.

A lady is distraught after being told she can’t return to her home.
Camera IconA lady is distraught after being told she can’t return to her home. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

More than 150 firefighters are still battling the blaze and are expected to be in the area for the next couple of days.

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