A fire burning near Harvey has been partly contained but remains a threat to homes and residents, who were seemingly caught unaware when it flared quickly on Monday afternoon.
A bushfire watch and act notice is in place for people bounded by Hope Avenue, Treasure Road, Mitchell Road and Bernies Road, north of Benger Swamp Nature Reserve, 11 kilometres south-west of Harvey in the Shire of Harvey.
There is still a possible threat to lives and homes.
Residents are advised to put their bushfire survival plans into actions and to leave now if they are not prepared to actively defend their homes.
A bushfire advice remains in place for people in the vicinity of the fire but outside an area bounded by Hope Avenue, Treasure Road, Mitchell Road and Bernies Road, 11 kilometes south-west of Harvey in the Shire of Harvey.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued a warning just after 3pm which said homes south of Mitchell Road would be threatened by fire within 20 minutes.
Mitchell Road was closed to non-local traffic as the bushfire moved in a west-north-westerly direction away from South Western Highway.
It has burnt through approximately 300 hectares.
Department of Environment fire crews wee in attendance backed up by heavy earth-moving machinery, two fixed-wing water bombers and a helicopter.
It is not known what caused the fire.
Shire of Harvey deputy president Brian Hollands said the fire had taken many in town by surprise.
He said he could see thick black smoke south of town.
A Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman said the fire had escalated quickly, going from an advice alert level earlier on Monday afternoon to an emergency warning level about 3pm.
The fire has crossed Mitchell Road, where it is understood there are a number of regional properties, but there have been no reports so far of property loss.