After almost a week of hot conditions, strong winds and no rain, the Wooroloo bushfire — one of WA’s worst that claimed 86 homes — finally began to subside today.
Heroic and stoic fire crews who have battled the blaze on the ground and in the air since Monday lunchtime finally managed to fully contain the ferocious fire which has decimated towns like Gidgegannup, wiping out some its neighbourhoods such as Tilden Park.
The fire was downgraded today to advice level with DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm declaring that the fire was now 100 per cent contained.
“We are so focused on keeping the community safe and we have just had night after night of strong winds — and to get through last night without any major breakouts, leaves us in a great place,” the fire chief said.
But he warned that firefighters would have to grapple with winds gusts of 50-60kmh with light rain, which was only expected to get heavier into the night.
Dramatic footage of a fire crew racing through a road burning on all sides to rescue a family trapped in their home this week, emerged tonight.
Premier Mark McGowan said: “This week has been like none other with the bushfires and lockdown, storms and now this severe weather warning.
“The rains may extinguish the fires but not the danger.”
The rain which finally began to fall yesterday afternoon in Gidgegannup was a welcome relief as many lined up for restricted access permits to get to their homes to see if they still had one standing.
The permits allowed locals to get back to their Tilden Park Estate homes — one of the worst affected areas from this week’s fire where more than 40 homes were lost — for at least 48 hours.
Carol lined up for a permit with one of her two daughters.
“There are a lot of sad stories in this line,” she said.
Residents stood patiently in line talking to officials about where their homes were. Some hugged, reuniting for the first time since they were forced to flee their homes.
Meanwhile, on nearby Mayo Road, the harsh and destructive nature of the fire was on display with many houses along the road completely destroyed, yet many were left still standing.
Mayo Road local Keith Caie and his wife Michelle stayed behind to successfully defend their property with just garden hoses.
“It came so quickly. Spot fires were starting all over the paddocks,” Mr Caie said.“I was trying to put the flames out but I was totally stuffed.
“I was wetting down as much as I could … the flames were coming up and I thought f–k sake.
“It was frightening, but you just got to do it.”