Western Australia bushfire burns 143,000 acres

Satellite photo of two fires in Western Australia. The southern most one is near Northcliffe. Photo at 10:30 UTC, February 4, 2015. SSEC.
Satellite photo of two fires in Western Australia. The southern most one is near Northcliffe. Photo at 10:30 UTC, February 4, 2015. SSEC. (click to enlarge)

Below is an excerpt from an article at http://www.news.com.au/:

FIREFIGHTERS have been working around the clock for the past five days to protect lives and homes from the Northcliffe bushfire.

But despite their best efforts, the blaze has doubled since Tuesday night and has destroyed more than 58,000 hectares [143,000 acres].

Residents in Northcliffe and the subdivisions of Parkview, Bracken Rise and Double Bridge in the Shire Manjimup have been told their town sites are “undefendable” and they must leave, advice that most have heeded.

For people in Windy Harbour, it’s too late to leave. They’ve been told to seek shelter at the beach. A Department of Fire and Emergency spokesman said people at Windy Harbour might have to leave by boat or helicopter.

The blaze is frequently changing direction because of wind changes.

“It has been swinging around a lot,” one of the 40 or so people still in Northcliffe, general store manager Graham Munro, told Fairfax radio.

“The wind is blowing away from the town at the moment, so it’s pretty good, but there’s still ash around.

“Yesterday for a while it was heading straight at the town … across land that had previously been burnt, but then of course it swung around took off like a rocket for the coast again.”

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+