A man has died attempting to save his house from a
devastating bushfire in the Perth hills that has destroyed at
least 27 homes.
St John Ambulance staff say the man collapsed on the roof of
his house in Hovea just after noon on Sunday.
St John crews were unable to access the roof despite
assistance from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services
(DFES), and the man died at the scene.
Despite the efforts of dozens of firefighters and helitac
helicopters in atrocious conditions, properties near
Parkerville and Stoneville were razed by the fast-moving
One Chidlow resident said he was leaving most of his
possessions to the flames.
"There are embers coming down like an ash - we are getting
the hell out of here," he told ABC radio.
"We are taking the animals, some clothes and the tax files in
a box and we are leaving everything else. If it burns, it
The DFES confirmed 27 homes had been lost, and added this
number was expected to increase as damage assessments
continued into Monday.
More than 100 firefighters and 50 vehicles remained on the
scene late on Sunday, as warnings in the area were downgraded
to watch-and-act, and waterbombers were deployed to battle
Burning embers were being blown around homes, and spot fires
were starting up to 150 metres ahead of the fire, the DFES
At least two firefighters have been treated for heat
Just before noon on Sunday, residents in the eastern part of
Mundaring were told to leave their homes immediately.
Less than 30 minutes later, locals were told it was too late
to leave, as it could be deadly if they did.
By 4pm WST, more than 250 hectares had been burnt.
An emergency warning was issued for people after the fire
started between Johnson Road and Granite Road at 11am. The
cause of the blaze is not yet known.
Flames up to 20 metres high burned towards Richardson Road,
Riley Road and Stoneville Road and residents were warned they
were in danger and needed to act immediately to survive.
Homes east of Parkerville were in the immediate path of the
fire, and emergency authorities confirmed several houses had
Two separate evacuation centres were established, with the
Mundaring Recreation Centre filling up with more than 80
evacuees, with a second evacuation centre set up at Brown
Park in nearby Swan View.
Mundaring shire president Helen Dullard said they were
setting up to have people staying in emergency conditions for
days, with Salvation Army volunteers on hand.
"We have got food and accommodation well taken care of, and
there will be people staying overnight and not just one
night," Ms Dullard said.
"But we are still in an emergency stage.
"Some are finding out by friends, and because their friends'
houses have gone, then theirs has gone. Some aren't sure.
"They are anxious to get home as soon as they can, but are
having to wait and that is very difficult for them."
The blaze in the hills were the worst of a horror day for WA
fire authorities, who battled blazes in Wanneroo, Boddington,
Denmark, Gosnells, Shark Bay and a major fire in Baldivis.
The fires came after two successive days of 40C heat in
Perth, and an oppressive heatwave in the northern part of the
state all week.