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12 Dec 2019 | 04:14 AM UTC

Australia: Second emergency fire warning issued in Western Australia December 12 /update 1

Fire service in Western Australia issues a second emergency fire warning in Yanchep December 12; heightened security and transportation disruptions reported

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AUS

Event

The Western Australia Rural Fire Service (WA RFS) issued a second emergency fire warning for Two Rocks, Breakwater Estate, Sea Tree Estate, and Yanchep in Wanneroo, located in the north of Perth, at around 10:00 (local time) on Thursday, December 12. Over 150 firefighters have been deployed to contain the fires, which remain uncontrolled.

Further spread of the fires is anticipated until at least Monday, December 16, as temperatures are forecast to climb up to 40°C (104°F) in the area. A heightened security presence, road closures and power outages are to be expected in the vicinity of any wildfire. Up-to-date information on the fires can be found on the WA RFS website here.

Context

Wildfires are an annual event in Australia between December and February; however, authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season. At least four people have died due to the wildfires that broke out across eastern Australia since early November 2019.

Advice

Individuals in Western Australia are advised to keep abreast of warnings and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders. As high temperatures are expected in the near-term, individuals are also advised to remain hydrated and minimize outdoor activities. Furthermore, individuals should limit outdoor activities until the situation normalizes and those with chronic respiratory illnesses should exercise increased caution; seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties or other health concerns.