Update: Watch and Act remains for Grass Patch and Salmon Gums

Latest:

A bushfire Watch and Act remains in place for people in Grass Patch, Salmon Gums and surrounding areas in the Shire of Esperance.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said this includes people in the area west of Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, north of Hawkey Road and Loffler Road, east of Belgian Road and south of Salmon Gums West Road.

There is a possible threat to lives and homes and the DFES warns people to either leave or get ready to actively defend.

People living in the area are advised to leave in a northern direction along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway but only if it is safe to do so.

The highway is only open to people leaving the fire area.

The fire started north of Cascade and is burning on both sides of the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, between Scaddan and Grass Patch.

The fire is stationary but it is uncontrolled.

Two homes and 12 sheds have been confirmed lost.

A further 10 structures have been damaged, including homes, farm machinery, sheds and out buildings.

Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service firefighters are on the scene and aerial support is expected to resume later today.

.Water Corporation has restored water supplies to Salmon Gums and Grass Patch, but both towns are still without power.

A community meeting has been scheduled for 11am at the Esperance Civic Centre on Council Place.

November 19 at  5pm: 

The alert level for people in Grass Patch, Salmon Gums and surrounding areas in the Shire of Esperance has been downgraded. 

A bushfire Watch and Act was put in place shortly after 3pm and continues now. 

This includes people an area west of Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, north of Hawkey Road/Loffler Road, east of Belgian Road and south of Salmon Gums West Road.  

The alert level for this fire has been downgraded as the breakout to the west of the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway has been contained. 

There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching the area and conditions are changing.

You need to leave or get ready to actively defend. 

The fire started north of cascade and is burning on both sides of the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, between Scaddan and Grass Patch. 

The bushfire is stationary but it is uncontrolled. Burning embers are likely to be blown around your home, with the potential to start spot fires.

If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear.

There is ember attack ahead of the fire, so close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible. 

If you are well prepared and plan to actively defend your home, make final preparations now. 

Do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. If you have access to a water tank and plan to defend your home, start patrolling with your hose and put out spot fires. For those who are not home, they are warned to not try to return as conditions in the area could be very dangerous.

A community meeting has been scheduled for 6pm at the Esperance Civic Centre.

November 19 at 12pm: 

The alert level for the Grass Patch and Salmon Gums has been upgraded and residents are warned to "act immediately to survive".

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has raised the alert level for the Grass Patch, Salmon Gums and surrounding areas to an emergency warning. This includes people an area west of Coolgadie-Esperance Highway, north of Hawkey Road/Loffler Road, east of Belgian Road and south of Salmon Gums West Road. 

The alert level for this fire has been upgraded as the fire has broken containment lines. The bushfire is moving fast in a south easterly direction.

The fire has broken containment lines near the intersection of Williams Road and Rollond Road. It is burning towards the highway. 

The fire started north of cascade and is burning on both sides of the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, between Scaddan and Grass Patch. 

Burning embers are likely to be blown around your home. Spot fires are starting ahead of the fire. 

Firefighters are expecting the wind to change from north westerly to a south westerly at approximately 3pm.

This means the fire may move in a north easterly direction towards Salmon Gums. 

Those who live in the area are being urged to leave in a northern direction along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway if it safe to do so.

Locals are being told their safest options may be to visit family or friends who live away from the area or head to the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's temporary evacuation centre at Esperance Civic Centre on Council Place.

What to do: 

If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place.

Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.

There is ember attack ahead of the fire, so close all doors and windows, and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible. 

If your plan is to stay and actively defend, do not rely on mains water pressure as it may be affected. If you have access to a water tank and plan to defend your home, start patrolling with your hose and put out spot fires. 

If you cannot leave, you need to get ready to shelter in your home and actively defend it.

If you are not at home, it is too dangerous now to return. 

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