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A BUSHFIRE is threatening homes near the WA Kimberly coast town of Broome and residents have been told to head for the beach.

The blaze has so far blackened some 15,000 hectares and houses in Coconut Wells, about 18km from Broome, are now at risk, says the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) says.

Residents who abandoned their homes were advised to go to the beach as the blaze has also begun to close in on Morrel Park and Lullfitz.

“It may be hours before it is safe to return home so take water, food and sun protection,” FESA said in a statement.

“People who have decided to stay and defend their home should prepare for the fire.”

Residents have been told to close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative airconditioners.

The FESA says 25 volunteer fire and rescue service and bushfire service firefighters from two brigades are involved in the operation.

They saved six homes yesterday and extra crews are being flown in.

Road closures are in place and motorists have been urged to drive slowly.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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WILD weather has caused havoc across Perth, uprooting trees, tearing off roofs and plunging homes into darkness.   

Winds travelling at more than 100km/h tore through the city overnight, ripping the roof off a granny flat in Doubleview, collapsing a ceiling in Joondalup and blowing in the windows of a house in City Beach.

More than 17,000 are believed to be without power because of the storm, mostly in the Perth hills.

State and Emergency Services (SES) have recorded 70 calls for help since 7am, with a total of 125 incidents logged since 6pm last night and 240 properties impacted.

Damage has been reported in coastal suburbs from Two Rocks to Rockingham and all SES units in the metropolitan area have been activated with volunteers in Northamweather called in for backup.

A series of cold fronts have been lashing the city since Friday, with Rottnest, Ocean Reef, Mandurah and Bickley some of the worst hit areas.

Ocean Reef recorded a wind gust of 107km/h and gusts of 115km/h were recorded at Rottnest, where ferry services have been cancelled.

The ports of Fremantle and Kwinana ports have suspended operations until midday.

Across the state, Cape Naturalist and Cape Leeuwin recorded wind gusts of up to 109km/h.  There have been reports of fallen trees and minor damage to homes in Bunbury, Busselton and Capel.

The WA Bureau of Meteorology says it is the wettest day of the year.

Flights from Perth’s international terminal are running half an hour behind schedule, and Main Roads are urging motorists to slow down and take care in the inclement weather.

Near the city, waves from the Swan River were lapping around peak hour traffic on the Kwinana Freeway this morning, while Riverside Drive and parts of Beaufort St have isolated flooding.

Traffic lights are out on the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Stoneville Rd in Mundaring and at the junction of Kalamunda Rd and Gooseberry Hill Rd.

WA Bureau of Meteorology climate information officer John Relf says 23.2mm of rain has fallen overnight taking Perth much closer to the 177mm average with 147.8mm of rain recorded this month.

“We have exceeded last year’s June rainfall of 142mm,” he said.

Heavy rain has been reported from Collie to Walpole.

WA Water Corporation spokeswoman Clare Lugar says dams should have now started benefiting from the all rainfall.

“Up until Friday the streams hadn’t started to flow,” Ms Lugar said.  “But we are expecting it to have begun flowing over the weekend.” 

The wild weather is expected to ease up later tonight with fine weather forecast by Thursday.

Source  :   www.news.com.au

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Finally after a decade of trying to get plans to develop on the banks of the Moore River, they have been given the go ahead to build 2000 newmoore river homes. 

Planning Minister John Day told parliament Cabinet had approved a smaller development that is allowing a population of up to 6000 people.

Original plans have been cut by 60 per cent which would have allowed a population of around 15000 people.

Marcus Plunkett the developer has said ” this will ensure that the shire of Gingin will have a major residential and tourism development which will bring much needed infrastructure to the area.”

This development will still need to put forward plans for approval, a revised plan is expected to be released for public comment.

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Over 2000 homes across the metropolitan area are without power today as Western Power crews continue to repair powerlines damaged by the recent storms.

In Leederville 131 homes are without power, in Shoalwater 133 homes have been affected, 193 homes in Tuart Hill are without power and 149 Rockingham homes are blacked out.

A spokeswoman said most of the 2173 homes would have power restored this afternoon.  

150 homes where power outages have been affected by damage to a single electricity line, were expected to remain without power tonight.

More than 50 homes in the Perth Hills suburb of Parkerville have now been without electricity for almost two days.

The forecast shows showers will ease this afternoon with possible early showers Sunday morning followed by fine weather conditions.

Rising tides have battered two Perth landmarks – the Cottesloe Pylon and blue Crawley boat house on the Swan River – as wild weather hit the city.

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Firemen will work through the night to clear petrol from the scene of a massive explosion at a petrol station in the Perth suburb of Maddington.

A petrol tanker exploded at the Caltex station, starting a fire that destroyed parts of the vehicle, the roof of the forecourt and the shop front.article-fire-pic-420x0

A Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokesman told AAP the fire was brought quickly under control by firefighters.

“The focus is now on making the scene safe, which is a very important task,” the spokesman said.

“There was a fair bit of damage to the majority of the building.”

Petrol still left in the 40,000-litre tanker will be drained into another tanker, while specialists work to recover any water that may have been contaminated by the unleaded petrol.

About a quarter of the petrol in the tanker burnt in the fire.

Homes and businesses, including a suburban shopping centre, within a 500-metre radius of the station have been evacuated.

Residents will not be allowed to return until authorities are confident the area is safe and there is no petrol left to ignite.

That is likely to be sometime late on Friday night, the spokesman said.

No one was injured in the incident.

“It is great news. Fire authorities were called very quickly, and they got to the scene in a good time, meaning there were no injuries.

“There were people on the forecourt, in the shop, and of course the tanker driver,” the spokesman said.

The truck will not be removed until Saturday, while the investigation into why the fire started will continue for a few days.

www.news.ninemsn.com.au article

www.watoday.com.au Ben White photo

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