Oakford bushfire deemed suspicious by fire investigators

PIC: DFES/Sean Blocksidge

Authorities believe the cause of an out-of-control bushfire in Oakford is suspicious.

The fire started near the Modong Nature Reserve around 11.13am on Saturday.

A watch and act alert remains in place for people in an area bounded by Anketell Road, Kwinana Freeway, Mortimer Road, King Road and Thomas Road.

There is a possible threat to lives and homes.

Residents have been advised to remain vigilant as conditions could change.

LATEST DFES ALERT:

Bushfire WATCH AND ACT for parts of ANKETELL, OAKFORD, OLDBURY and CASUARINA in the SHIRE OF SERPENTINE-JARRAHDALE and the CITY OF KWINANA

ALERT LEVEL:

A bushfire WATCH AND ACT is in place for people in an area bounded by Anketell Road, Kwinana Freeway, Mortimer Road, King Road and Thomas Road in parts of ANKETELL, OAKFORD, OLDBURY and CASUARINA in the SHIRE OF SERPENTINE-JARRAHDALE and the CITY OF KWINANA.

  • The alert level for this fire has been downgraded as the fire has been contained and the efforts of firefighting crews has reduced the fires intensity. People need to remain alert as conditions could change.

  • There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is burning in the area and weather conditions are likely to change throughout the day.

WHAT TO DO:

  • If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear.

  • If you are well prepared and plan to actively defend your home, make final preparations now.

  • If you plan to stay and actively defend, do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. You need to have access to an independent water supply, and start patrolling your property to put out spot fires.

  • At all times close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.

  • If you are not at home, do not try to return as conditions in the area could be very dangerous.

If you are self-isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19 and plan to leave:

  • Leave now and find alternative accommodation with family or friends who live away from the area.

  • If you are unable to return to your quarantine location within one hour, telephone WA Police on 131 444 to advise them you have had to leave due to an emergency.

  • Regardless of your location, continue to follow COVID-19 precautions and maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Bushfire ADVICE for parts of WANDI, OAKFORD, WELLARD, BERTRAM, CALISTA, MEDINA, POSTANS, KWINANA BEACH and HOPE VALLEY in the SHIRE OF SERPENTINE-JARRAHDALE and CITY OF KWINANA

ALERT LEVEL:

A bushfire ADVICE is in place for people to the south of the Watch and Act area bounded by Mortimer Road, King Road, Boomerang Road, Braddock Road, Kwinana Freeway and to the west bounded by Bertram Road, Sulphur Road, Summerton Road, Patterson Road, Rockingham Road, Anketell Road, Kwinana Freeway and to the north bounded by Rowley Road, Nicholson Road, Anketell Road and Kwinana Freeway in parts of WANDI, OAKFORD, WELLARD, BERTRAM, CALISTA, MEDINA, POSTANS, KWINANA BEACH and HOPE VALLEY in the SHIRE OF SERPENTINE-JARRAHDALE and CITY OF KWINANA.

  • There is no threat to lives or homes.

  • Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Stay alert and monitor your surroundings.

  • Watch for signs of a bushfire, especially smoke and flames.

  • Close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners but keep water running through the system if possible.

  • Read through your bushfire survival plan.

  • If you do not have a plan decide what you will do if the situation gets worse.

If driving

  • Be extremely careful when driving through the area.

  • Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.

  • Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:

  • The bushfire is stationary.

  • It is not contained or controlled.

  • Strong winds have resulted in an outbreak in the south east corner of the fire.

ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:

The following roads have reopened with speed restrictions:

  • Kwinana Freeway from Mortimer Road to Rowley Road south bound 60km/h.

  • Kwinana Freeway from Mortimer Road to Rowley Road north bound 80km/h.

The eastbound exits from the freeway at Anketell and Thomas Roads remain closed.

Firefighters are working along the roadside and some lanes of the Freeway may be closed. Motorists are asked to adhere to speed limits and be aware of fire and emergency service personnel working in the area. WA Police are on scene and supporting fire and emergency crews with traffic management.

A number of roads have been closed including:

  • Anketell Road from Kwinana Freeway to Thomas Road

  • Thomas Road from Kwinana to Nicholson Road

  • Tuart Road from Anketell Road to Thomas Road

  • Cumming Road between Orton Road and Thomas Road

  • King Road between Orton Road and Thomas Road

  • McLaughlan Road between Thomas Road and Anketell Road

Motorists are asked to avoid the area, reduce speed and drive carefully due to smoke.

Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting travelmap.mainroads.wa.gov.au or by contacting the SHIRE OF SERPENTINE-JARRAHDALE.

POWER:

Western Power has advised parts of Casuarina, Oakford, Anketell and Oldbury are without power. 

For further details visit www.westernpower.com.au.

REGISTER.FIND.REUNITE:
Register with Register.Find.Reunite to let your family and loved ones know you're OK and where you will be relocating to via https://register.redcross.org.au from any computer or mobile device or in person at the temporary evacuation centre.

If you are unable to contact a loved one who may have been planning to be in the area, enquire about their whereabouts through the online Register.Find.Reunite system at https://register.redcross.org.au.

RESTRICTED ACCESS PERMITS:

  • Newbold Road is now accessible to residents with a Restricted Access Permit.

  • The Restricted Access Permit issuing unit located at Kwinana South Bush Fire Brigade on the corner of Barker Road and Mortimer Road in Wellard.

  • Please bring along valid identity documents including a driver's licence or passport, and proof of the affected address.

  • Residents and business owners impacted by the fire can apply for a restricted access permit to enter designated areas for a specific time and purpose.

  • Due to the ever changing conditions, the issuing of restricted access permits may temporarily stop and your patience is appreciated.

  • For more information about restricted access permits visit the Restricted Access Permits section of the DFES website or

    click here.

WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:

  • Firefighters are on the scene, actively fighting the fire and strengthening containment lines.

  • 170 Career Fire and Rescue Service, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services, Parks and Wildlife Service, Bush Fire Service, State Emergency Service firefighters are attending.

  • Aerial support has been sent to assist ground crews.

DRONES AND AERIAL SUPPORT:
Never fly a drone, model aircraft or multirotor near bushfires. Doing so poses a major safety risk to firefighting personnel in the air and on the ground, and forces aircraft to be grounded or redirected, hindering firefighting efforts.
 

EXTRA INFORMATION:

  • The fire was reported at 11:13 AM on 16 January 2021.

  • Currently there has been 282 hectares burnt.

  • The cause of the fire is suspicious.

  • DFES is managing the fire.

 


 


 

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