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WA fires: Emergency warning issued near Wedge Island as fire flares up again

A bushfire that threatened homes in the Mid West coastal settlement of Grey on Thursday has again been upgraded to an emergency alert after the blaze jumped a main highway north of Wedge Island.

A bushfire emergency has been issued for Brigadoon.
A bushfire emergency has been issued for Brigadoon. 

The fire, which was sparked by lightning around 8pm on Tuesday night, is burning out-of-control in bushland 60 kilometres north of Lancelin. 

The Department of Fire and Emergency downgraded the alert to a watch and act on Thursday evening but reissued an emergency warning just after 11am on Friday, when the fire jumped Indian Ocean Drive.

The fire from a beach shack at Wedge Island about 15 kilometres south.
The fire from a beach shack at Wedge Island about 15 kilometres south.  Photo: Facebook / Tanya Stanton

The fire jumped the road despite fire-fighters back-burning areas around the road on Wednesday to try prevent the fire reaching homes. 

The fire is now approximately 4km north of Wedge Island Road.

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DFES has told residents in the fire's path they are in danger and need to act immediately to survive.

There is a threat to lives and homes and concerns burning embers are likely to be blown around homes.

An aerial view of Grey.
An aerial view of Grey.  Photo: Google Maps

An evacuation centre has been set up at Jurien Bay community centre on Bashford Street for those fleeing the blaze. 

The tiny coastal town is home to hundreds of holiday beach shacks popular during the summer months. 

"The fire is burning in inaccessible terrain approximately five kilometres east of Indian Ocean Drive and north of Meadows Road and is heading towards Indian Ocean Drive," a Department of Fire and Emergency Services alert said.

A watch and act alert remains in place for people west of Brand Highway, between Meadows Road and Wongonderrah Road to the coast, including the Wedge Island Settlement. This includes people on beaches north and south of Wedge Island.

A bushfire burning out-of-control near Wedge Island.
A bushfire burning out-of-control near Wedge Island.  Photo: Facebook / Badgingarra Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

The fire, sparked by lightning, is burning in a west-north-westerly direction in inaccessible terrain east of Indian Ocean Drive and north of Meadows Road and will soon cross Indian Ocean Drive.   

Firefighters and aerial crews have been battling the blaze since it was reported at 8pm on Tuesday. 

"Approximately 87 bush fire service and Parks and Wildlife firefighters are on scene  protecting assets and strengthening containment lines," the DFES alert read. 

DFES controller Adrian DeKleer told ABC local radio on Thursday the fire was burning through a difficult area to access.

"Where the fire actually started ... is where the Australian Defence Force for the last probably 100 years has been firing on that bit of shore ... leaving a lot of unexploded ordnance there," he said.

"So we haven't actually been able to get in there to fight the fire for obvious reasons.

"Since then it's moved in to the type of terrain and vegetation that is very difficult to set up back-burns and do the sort of normal firefighting that we do.

"Other than the odd fence here and there, [there] is no infrastructure currently in the way of the fire other than that which exists in the Grey community area."

Indian Ocean Road is closed in both directions between Lancelin and Cervantes and Mimegarra Road north of Meadows Road has also been shut. 

Holidaymakers in the area are also advised that parks and reserves have been closed including Nambung National Park, Wanagarren Nature Reserve, Wedge Reserve and Grey Reserve. 

The fire has so far torched more than 14,700 hectares of land.

For the latest updates, visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au 

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