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WA’s ordeal by fire: Seven localities confront extreme fire danger

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

A bushfire emergency in Western Australia’s Pilbara region has been downgraded but seven other districts are confronting extreme fire danger.

An emergency alert was issued on Saturday night for people at or near Wandoo Camp in Pannawonica in Ashburton Shire, with residents told to shelter in place.

Four hours later the warning was downgraded to watch and act as Wandoo Camp was no longer under imminent threat.

Crews remain on the scene, back-burning and fighting the fire as it moves in a southerly direction.

“It is out of control and unpredictable,” the alert advised.

Extreme fire danger ratings have been forecast on Sunday for the districts of Yarra Yarra, Swan Inland North, Swan Inland South, Geographe, Capes, Brockman and Mortlock.

The danger rating is high for 32 other fire districts in the state.

Perth blaze downgraded

It comes as firefighters continue to battle a fire that ripped through dozens of tinder-dry, semi-rural properties near Perth, destroying 18 homes.

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

Watch and act alerts remained in place for parts of Jandabup, Melaleuca, Wanneroo and Marginiup in the City of Wanneroo on Sunday morning.

Residents were being warned there was still a possible threat to lives and homes as the fire continues to burn and the weather forecast remained unpredictable, with a weekend of 39C temperatures.

A severe storm warning is current for residents in parts of the Perth metropolitan and southwest districts.

Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt has flagged disaster recovery assistance – jointly funded by the federal and WA governments – will be made available to those affected by the Perth fire.

-AAP

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