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‘Not out of the woods’: WA towns brace for extreme fire weather to make a bad situation worse

Raging flames erupt into the night sky near Wanneroo in Perth on Saturday.

Raging flames erupt into the night sky near Wanneroo in Perth on Saturday. Photo: AAP

Firefighters battling a destructive and out-of-control bushfire in metropolitan Perth that has destroyed 18 homes are bracing for extreme weather.

More than 200 firefighters continue to battle the fire that has ripped through dozens of tinder-dry, semi-rural properties, with a weekend of 39C temperatures forecast.

Previously at emergency level, the blaze was reduced to a watch and act warning on Friday afternoon, although authorities warn it could take at least another three to four days to bring the fire, which has a 64km perimeter, under control.

Early on Saturday watch and act alerts were in place for parts of Jandabup, Melaleuca, Wanneroo and Marginiup in the City of Wannaroo and the City of Swan.

Residents are being warned there is still a possible threat to lives and homes as the fire continued to burn and weather predictions remained unpredictable.

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said it remained a major incident and was not contained as he fronted media with Premier Roger Cook on Friday afternoon.

“We will have hot weather over the next few days and so we’re not out of the woods just yet,” he told reporters.

Blackouts and closures

The blaze started in a pine forest on Wednesday and forced hundreds of people to flee their homes as strong winds fanned embers a kilometre ahead of the fire front.

Firefighters and water bombers have battled the blazes as gusty winds fanned flare-ups and residents prepared their homes for the worst.

More than 1000 properties were left without power as the blaze brought down critical infrastructure and forced schools and public buildings to close.

After temperatures in Perth peaked at 39C on Thursday, the mercury reached 33C on Friday, but the city forecast to swelter through 39C on both Saturday and Sunday.

-AAP

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