Bushfire warning downgraded to watch and act in parts of Green Range and Mettler near Albany
A bushfire north-east of Albany has been downgraded to watch and act with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services warning that it is not yet safe to return to the area.
Travellers are being warned to avoid the area for the safety of emergency services crews and operational personnel.
South Coast Highway between Cheynes Beach Road and Borden-Bremer Bay Road is closed.
Motorists are asked to avoid the area, reduce speed, and drive carefully due to smoke.
Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE
Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.READ NOW
The watch and act warning is in place for people in an area bounded by Chillinup Road to the north, Gnowellen Road to the east, South Coast Highway to the intersection of Mettler Road, Cordinup River and the coastline to the south, west to the Drawbin Road and South Coast Highway intersection, and Kojaneerup Road.
There are about 100 firefighters, farmer response units, DBCA and DFES personnel on the ground actively battling the blaze.
Firefighting efforts are being assisted by machinery contractors to build containment lines.
Western Power has advised 311 homes and businesses power supply has been affected by the bushfire.
Affected towns include Mettler, Jerramungup, Gairdner, Wellstead, Boxwood Hill, Needilup, Kojaneerup South, Cowalellup, Gnowellen, Bremer Bay, Green Range, Toompup, and Monjebup.
The blaze — that started near Venns Road and was reported at 6.02am on Wednesday — initially triggered a bushfire advice level warning.
The alert level was upgraded to emergency on Wednesday after the fire broke containment lines and ripped through 1260 hectares.
After firefighters worked tirelessly throughout the night, The Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued an alert early on Thursday morning that the blaze had been downgraded to a watch and act level.
A watch and act warning is in place for residents in the area bounded by Chillingup Road, Thomas Drive, Pheiffer Road, and Drawbin Road, who are urged to leave or prepare to actively defend their homes.
On Wednesday afternoon, authorities said the fire was moving in multiple directions and was out of control and unpredictable. The blaze was moving fast in a westerly direction but was unpredictable due to winds.
A bushfire advice remains in place for the area bounded by Drawbin Road to the North, Bluff Creek Road to the west and the coastline to the south, and in an area east of the Cordinup River, including Venns Road in parts of Green Range, South Stirling, and Mettler.
Warriup Road has been closed and motorists are urged to drive safe as visibility is lowered through the thick smoke.
DFES has advised that it is safe to leave in a northerly or westerly direction.
The out-of-control blaze comes on the first day of a severe heatwave, that is expected to throw temperatures into the high 30s across Perth for the next week.
The heatwave caused another fire in Perth’s north to reach an emergency level and more smaller bushfires to spark throughout the day.
A bushfire in Bullsbrook forced children to evacuate from a nearby school as it reached an emergency level around midday.
Bullsbrook College, located on Chittering Road was evacuated in the wake of the fire threat as the fire grew to about 8.7 hectares and was reported moving in a fast southwesterly direction.
The blaze was downgraded after firefighters managed to contain the bushfire just before 3pm.
Another bushfire was sparked at 3.15pm in Casuarina and quickly became unpredictable as it moved towards Casuarina Prison.
The blaze was downgraded to an advice level just before 5.30pm on Wednesday.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails